Prevent porch pirates and steer other thieves away!
December 15, 2021
It started with having my identity stolen, followed by the frightening sound of crashing glass during an attempted break-in at midnight. Next, the porch pirates watch as the Amazon van leaves the neighborhood to collect their bounty of packages neatly stacked at our doorsteps.
Recently, I learned about how near me, porch pirates scale their work by stealing entire community mailboxes with our mail and packages in one score.
Each time the thieves come out, we find ways to stage a counterattack with the help of new technology, security services, and prevention techniques. Here’s how you can prevent becoming a victim.
What can prevent a break-in?
Someone smashed my front window with what appeared to be a crowbar. When that happened, the crime scene investigator gave me some techniques to prevent it from happening again.
What are thieves looking for when they target a home? Here are the signs the investigator shared with me:
Stationary vehicles in the driveway or front yard that have remained in the same spot for an extended period or have a vehicle cover over them.
Front windows or doors are not visible from the street. If overgrown foliage obscures entry points, it makes excellent hiding spots and provides ample time to carry out the theft.
A dark house without porch lights, spotlights, or lighted windows
Empty garbage cans on the street beyond the pickup day
A stuffed mailbox is visible from the street
No visible security cameras and monitored security service.
Have a home security system installed.
Security measures that prevent porch pirates
Thieves don’t necessarily have to break into your home to get valuables. With so many of us relying on online shopping for holiday gifts and everyday necessities, those packages sitting on our doorsteps look like an open invitation to thieves - in fact, over 35 million people in the U.S. have had a package stolen off their porch.
Visible and hidden cameras can deter would-be porch pirates. Install visible cameras with light sensors positioned in strategic areas like the front door, the driveway with a street view, and other vulnerable entry points. So many security systems are available that it may become overwhelming to choose the right one for your home or business.
How to choose home security cameras
First, decide if you want a monitored service through a subscriber who offers the equipment and charges a monthly service fee, or if you prefer a more hands-on approach that gives you complete control.
Second, the expert shoppers have done much research work for us, like The Best Outdoor Home Security Cameras for 2022. The Ring doorbell camera is a popular choice for its ease-of-use and live video stream features with their Protect Plans. Another favorite among Do-It-Yourselfers is the Eufy series, with selections from solar-powered cameras to flood light with power and internet connections, and subscription-free and app-based, on iOS or GooglePlay stores, video monitoring, and immediate alerts to your mobile device.
Once you’ve selected what type of camera system you want, find the vulnerable entry points on your property. I recommend a camera visible to anyone approaching the front and back entry door(s) with a lighted activation sensor. When activity triggers the sensors, you will get an alert to your phone or multiple mobile devices if you can share your account with other members.
In addition, you should try to capture images of the four corners of a dwelling so you can detect intrusions to the side or back areas.
One spot some people overlook including their street view. Hidden cameras in nearby trees will cover this area to alert you of potential intruders before they are on your property, and in addition, record the license plates of a get-away vehicle.
Prevent porch pirates from visiting your door.
Even with security measures in place, it’s hard to prevent porch pirates if you receive shipments at your door.
In some cases, you can require a signature from the shipping company. You can also switch to a secure delivery service by using a lock bok such as an Amazon Hub or begin using a virtual mailbox.
Amazon offers a wide variety of pickup locations, from your local pharmacy to other convenient locations. In addition, Amazon sends an alert with the access code to open the locker containing your package, so it's safe until you arrive.
Prevent mail theft and prevent package theft
Thieves target mailboxes year round to snatch important items like checks and packages and mail that can provide personal information that leads to identity theft.
You can avoid mail and protect your packages by ensuring your mail never visits a physical mailbox by signing up for a virtual mailbox. With an Earth Class Mail virtual mailbox, you can get all your mail digitized and access it from anywhere, on any device. We can also ship anything received at your virtual address anywhere in the world.
At Earth Class Mail, we take the responsibility of receiving and handling our customer's mail and essential documents very seriously. While we would love to provide a virtual mailing address for everyone, we are most concerned that anyone using a virtual mailing address service knows we keep their private information safe. Interested in learning more about virtual mailboxes? See our plans and pricing here.
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