‘Tis The Season for Package Theft: Here’s How the Smartest Criminals Steal Your Stuff

published Dec 21, 2017
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(Image credit: Julie Clopper)

One of the wonders of online shopping is that you can do it from the couch in your PJs or on the train during your commute. One of the drawbacks—especially around the holidays—is the uptick in package theft. Crafty criminals have come up with smart ways to steal your stuff, but there are companies out there aiming to curb it.

The New York Times reported this week that UPS plans to deliver 750 million packages this season, which is up from 500 million just five years ago. Now that even your grandma knows how to use the Amazon app, America’s front porches are ripe for the picking, and the cleverest thieves are following delivery trucks from house to house and plucking the packages right behind them.

Several officials are doing what they can to curb these “porch pirates,” as the NYT calls them, by planting packages with tracking devices, while neighborhood social network Nextdoor—where homeowners often complain of package theft—has seen some residents take matters into their own hands, like one Memphis man who has approached quite a few suspected package thieves over the years.

Smart home security cameras from Google, Ring, and other companies are making it easier to keep an eye out when you’re not home, while some retailers are hoping that delivering inside your house will entice you to shop with them. Just this year, both Walmart and Amazon debuted pilot programs for indoor delivery, both made possible with smart home security devices like smart locks and cameras. Amazon also has their dedicated lockers, as well as a service that will deliver directly to your car trunk.

Check out the full article on the New York Times.