Study: ‘Porch piracy’ concerns on the rise

Retailers and consumers aren’t the only ones who think the holiday season is the “most wonderful time of the year.”

With consumers stepping up the frequency of online shopping this holiday season, thieves are getting more brazen, and ready to pilfer home deliveries. And they have been honing their craft, as nearly one in five (19%) of homeowners in the United States were the victim of a package theft in the last year, according to a study from connected home security provider Ring.

One in two homeowners (26%) receive a delivery at least once a week, and 24% receive packages multiple times a week. Yet, 73% of homeowners said carriers leave the deliveries on their front porch — in clear view of passers-by, especially criminals.

Stolen package victims were hit an average of 2.6 times last year (24% of shoppers), while 39% of shoppers lost at least one package last year. The average value of stolen packages is $140, according to the report.

As expected, these incidents increase during the holidays. Package theft spiked 35% in December 2016, up from 19% in November 2016.

With shoppers receiving an average of nine packages during the holiday season, thieves are on high alert. The good news is so are consumers. With 75% of consumers considering package theft a bigger problem during the holidays, they are taking more precautions to protect their deliveries.

A majority of shoppers (48%) are staying home when expecting a package. A growing number of homeowners also use technology to prevent package theft, including video cameras (27%) and video doorbells (12%), the report said.

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