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Package Theft During the Pandemic: What Potential Victims Need To Know

It's impossible to completely prevent robberies. However, many that occur are entirely preventable, and the number of robberies occurring each year is truly shocking. They're particularly common in the United States, compared to its neighboring nation Canada. Each year, there are between 2.3 million and 2.6 million robberies occurring within the United States. Canada, on the other hand, experienced 22,450 in 2018. Now, there are a number of different factors that can affect a nation's propensity for robberies. The United States has more cities with dense populations compared to Canada, where robberies are often more common. But sometimes, robberies occur simply because the victims of robberies didn't take a few extra measures to ensure that they won't be targeted as easily. This is a major problem in the United States, though Canada certainly isn't without the issue.

Perhaps people are more at risk for robberies now more than ever, though that is still to be seen in retrospect. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused economic hardship across the globe, and people are having packages delivered more than they did before in order to social distance. People who normally wouldn't rob others might be tempted to steal a package off of their neighbor's front porch. It often doesn't feel as much like stealing as it is a simple crime of opportunity; and after all, these thieves often don't know exactly what they're stealing. Nor do they often take the same steps to plan out sophisticated burglaries that career criminals do. It's simply a matter of impulse quite often, one that they can benefit from either through taking the products for themselves or selling them online. The fact is that there is much to be made from stealing packages, which means that those vulnerable to thieves must take precautionary steps to ensure that they're as protected as possible. Fortunately, there are ways that we can prevent, if not completely safeguard ourselves against, the theft of packages. Much of this lies in awareness as well as never assuming that there is a failsafe safety net that will ward off package thieves.

Are Certain Neighborhoods Or Homes Less Vulnerable To Package Theft?

The quick answer to this question is "no". Simply because an individual lives in what is identified as a "nice" neighborhood doesn't mean that they can't fall prey to package thieves. In fact, they may be more likely to be cased for this kind of theft because potential thieves may assume that someone living in a more upscale home or neighborhood might buy nicer products. Technically speaking, those living in single family homes are somewhat less at risk of having their packages stolen than those living in apartments, townhomes, and condominiums. But this may simply be a matter of ease of access. While those in apartment, townhome, or condominium complexes may easily pass by their neighbors' doorsteps and thus can easily grab packages without being caught, single family homes are more spaced out. This makes it harder for thieves to grab items without being seen.

What Increases My Risk Of Having A Package Stolen?

Technically speaking, what makes a person willing to steal is difficult to pin down. However, there are factors that may make a person more tempted to steal a package. Think about why credit card companies usually send cards in unmarked envelopes. They don't want those handling the envelopes to realize that there is a soon-to-be-activated card inside. When packages are unmarked, they can still easily attract certain thieves. But others, those that are more cautious, may not be willing to risk legal trouble over a package that could easily be a financially worthless gift from a family member. Packages that have labels from Amazon may be more appealing; and packages that are sent from and labeled by companies known to sell luxury products, like furniture, clothing, or cosmetics stores may be even more attractive. Therefore, if an individual can choose to have their packages sent in unmarked packaging, that would be ideal; some companies do offer this as an option, but it's often not widely available. However, recipients may want to track their more expensive packages and make sure that someone is home when they arrive and able to pick them up as quickly as possible. Of course, certain delivery trucks can also attract the attention of thieves. Right now, 80% of all products Americans purchase are delivered by trucks, whether those trucks are transporting food, lumber, or medical equipment. That process is somewhat unavoidable. But Americans can work with different delivery services to ensure that their packages are being delivered as discreetly and securely as possible. Though this may come at a premium, it's often worth the cost in the long term.

What Can I Do To Prevent Theft?

When taking steps to prevent their packages from being stolen, there are a few different measures recipients should prioritize. For one thing, front door or porch cameras are crucial. This will not only allow the recipients to catch thieves if they act, but if the cameras are visible but inaccessible, it will dissuade thieves in the first place. This is why some choose to keep signage on their homes indicating that security cameras are present. Depending on the type of delivery services they utilize, those same recipients can include instructions for packages to be delivered to discreet, specific locations. With about 3.5 million truck drivers working across the United States and 227,000 in Canada, there is no guarantee that the delivery drivers, in particular, will all follow these instructions. But it's worth trying. Perhaps simplest of all is asking a neighbor or friend to pick up your package and hold it for you once it's delivered. This is akin to having mail held when you are away but proactive in preventing the theft of packages.

While the theft of packages may not seem like much of an issue, it's plaguing Americans and Canadians alike and will continue to do so as the pandemic progresses. Package theft is real theft, and victims should alert the police as well as their senders. In some cases, senders will send new products once the theft is proven to be authentic, or reimburse the recipients. Each case is quite different in this respect. No matter what, action should be taken swiftly, both preventative and reactive.

Head of Content, reality TV watcher and lover of cookies. emma@shared.com