How to Combat Porch Pirates

Minimize Losses to Save Money and Anxiety

If you want to combat porch pirates, we need to understand exactly what is a porch pirate.

Porch pirates are essentially thieves who steal packages that are left on porches or beside front doors. It is normally a theft of opportunity meaning when someone sees a package unattended it becomes a prime target for a thief.


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box on porch beside front door
Easy Invitation for a Porch Pirate
Unfortunately, having items stolen from your porch or just having unwanted individuals on your property have become a part of our lives. Data suggests that over 20 million people have been victim to porch pirates. And since so many of us shop online now, more and more packages are being left on porches. Victims often describe being violated when they discover a missing package.

Some porch pirates open the package before stealing it to make sure it is of value and something they want! If that isn't bad enough,in some locations, organized crime rings have formed to relieve you of your purchased products. They even follow delivery trucks to locate their victims.

You can take actions, however, to prevent porch pirates from invading your space and to protect your packages.

If you purchase an item through affiliate links within our content, we will earn a commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. See our disclosure policy.

How to Combat Porch Pirates from Ruining Your Day

nice house with lights on
Take Steps to Keep Your Packages Safe
Remember, thieves and other criminals are opportunistic. In most cases, they seek the most gain from the least effort. With that in mind, here are a few steps you can take to protect your property and family as well.


Install Surveillance Equipment

Surveillance cameras can act as a potential deterrent in some cases, however, since many homeowners have such devices many thieves seem not to care as evidenced by the many videos of porch pirates in action. The footage, however, can be instrumental in catching thieves after the fact.

Note that many exterior surveillance equipment, but not all, is waterproof. Waterproof equipment can normally tolerate longer periods of being immersed in water although weatherproof equipment is sufficient for most homeowners.

A security camera's ability to withstand the elements is determined by an Ingress Protection (IP) rating. Select an exterior security camera that has an IP rating of 65-67. Although most security cameras can withstand really cold temperatures, heat may be another issue. If you live in areas with extreme heat, it is best to know the camera's ideal temperature range to find one to fit your geographical area.

Products range both in function and price to fit almost any budget making it one of the most widely used deterrents. The camera shown below has night vision, pan and tilt functions, motion detection, and auto tracking capabilities.

Outdoor security camera with night vision - (affiliate)
You can even purchase a wired CCTV surveillance system for under $200 like the one below. This system camera system sees faces, logos on clothing, labels on boxes, license plates and other close-ups 24 hours a day in all types of weather conditions.

Swann Home Security Camera System - (affiliate)
Another option is a video doorbell with enhanced features that let you see, hear, and speak to anyone from your phone, tablet, or PC. Shown below is a Ring Video Doorbell that optimizes your ability to both see and respond to situations at your door.

Ring Video Doorbell Camera - (affiliate)

How to Replace a Wired Doorbell with a Ring Doorbell

Installation of a Ring Doorbell is fairly easy; watch the video below to see how it is done.



Battery Powered Video Door Bells

Consumer Reports suggests another great option is a battery-powered video doorbell. It allows you to monitor your front door and porch area and can send an alert when a package has been delivered.

They are quite easy to install with no complex wiring. Below is an Amazon-recommended battery-operated door bell. With motion sensor and smart human detection along with activity zones, you can receive alerts when someone approaches your door.


Eufy Security, Video Doorbell (affiliate)



Porch Pirate Lockable Package Delivery Box

There are many lockable package delivery box options (styles, colors, sizes, and price) from which to choose. Lock boxes provide a very secure means of deterring thieves and is perhaps quite a dependable step in how to combat porch pirates.

Lockable package boxes like the one shown below can also be used for storage in lieu of being just a lock box making it a little more functional than other models. The "Deliveries" sign on the bottom is easily removed to make it even more discreet.


Costco Outdoor Living Large Lockable Package Delivery and Storage Box (affiliate)
Here's an option if you prefer a more secure delivery storage box for valuables, medicines, or other high value deliveries. Smart-enabled to work from your smart phone, it has an electronic lock is and designed to look like a porch bench and can be bolted down to prevent removal.


BenchSentry by Genie Smart Secure Package Delivery Lock Box (affiliate)
Another porch storage option is a container much like the one below which basically conceals the package but does not necessarily lock and might be effective in some cases.

porch storage box from Amazon
Express Package Delivery Box (affiliate)
There are many other great options and we encourage you to discover one that will meet your own needs.


How to Combat Porch Pirates with Lighting

There are several lighting options you can use without breaking the bank. Ideally, a camera system with four or five wireless or wired cameras should be used to illuminate around your house.

Fortunately, there are cameras available that will provide lighting security and are affordable. Sophisticated lighting system installations can cost upwards of $1000 but you can do it for much less.

Ring Floodlight Camera Plus with Motion-Activated 1080p HD Video (affiliate)
Mary and I use solar powered motion detection lights with great success. We have them on the front, sides, and back of our home and they provide very sufficient lighting.


solar motion detector light over door
Solar Motion Sensor Light
They are easy to install and light up a wide area when activated. Below is one just like ours.


Solar Motion Detection Lights (affiliate)



How To Deter Porch Pirates in Other Ways

Try these other options to combat porch pirates from stealing your packages.

Use Amazon Lockers

You can have packages sent to another location where you can get them through an access code provided by Amazon. You can find Amazon lockers at grocery stores like Whole Foods, some convenience stores, and in some high-traffic areas. Although not necessarily convenient, it keeps your package safe.

Get a P.O. Box

Just like an Amazon locker, you can have packages sent to a P.O. box which is available at your local post office. Again, it is not as convenient as having them sent directly to your home.

Utilize Your Work Location, If Permissible

Some employers allow workers to ship packages to your work location making it more convenient than to a locker or P.O. box.

Join Forces with Your Neighbor

If you have a friendly, trustworthy neighbor, you might ask them to retrieve packages from your porch. Likewise, you can do the same for them when they are away from home. Our neighbors are very good about helping one another.

Require a Signature

Requiring a signature may be a good option especially for high value or medicine related deliveries. The package can only be left if someone signs for the package meaning that someone has to home to sign for it. If not, you have to pick it up yourself at a designated location.

man delivering amazon package at front door
An assured means of receiving your package
We hope you found at least one helpful suggestion here to combat porch pirates. With more and more of us receiving packages on our porches, it's an everyday challenge to manage. With some action on our own behalf, we can keep our packages safer.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. We also earn commissions from other companies where are are participants of their referral programs. Here is our full disclosure about affiliate marketing.














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At no extra cost to you, we earn a commission by referring you to some products on merchant sites. See our disclosure policy.
We, Front Porch Ideas and More, confirm, as stated on our privacy policy, that we do not sell personal information.

All content here is solely for presenting ideas. We recommend consulting with a licensed, experienced contractor before you begin your project.
We make no guarantees of accuracy or completeness of information on our site or any links to other websites contained here.


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