According to the United States Postal Service, the Postal Service processes and delivers 23.8 million packages each day. This number doesn’t even include Amazon packages or parcels shipped through other services such as UPS or FedEx.
As all those packages get processed and delivered, some never make their final destination. In part, that’s due to porch pirates, or thieves who steal packages from porches after the delivery service has dropped them off. Over a third of Americans report having a package stolen at least once, and for some, it’s been a repeat occurrence.
Chances are, if you’ve never had a package stolen, you know someone who has. More than half (54%) of Americans know someone who had a package stolen from their property, with the most common victims being friends or family members. This crime may occur more frequently during the holiday season, with 3 in 5 of these thefts occurring during that time.
More than 3 in 10 (34%) Americans have been victims themselves, with the average value of stolen packages costing consumers $219. Of these Americans who report porch pirates targeting them, 54% have had a package stolen during the holiday season. This theft spurred action, as 35% installed a security system or doorbell camera after the package theft occurred.
Considering 62% of Americans report packages being delivered weekly, it’s no surprise that 1 in 10 Americans report having a package stolen in 2023, with 21% saying they had a package stolen in 2022.
The holiday season is a time for joy, but it can also be a time for crime. Nearly all Americans (94%) will have packages delivered in the 2023 holiday season, and half say they’re worried about those packages getting stolen. Of those worried, 39% add that they’re more worried about package theft in 2023 than they have been in years past.
During some of the busiest shopping times of the year, 78% of Americans expect porch pirates to strike more after the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
The worry of Americans can be exemplified through their Google searches. Between August 2022 and December 2022, nationwide Google searches for “porch pirates” increased by 236%, while searches for “stolen package police report” also increased by 70%.
There are a variety of ways Americans actively work to prevent porch piracy, the most popular way including tracking the delivery process. Other ways to prevent package theft include staying home to receive the package, signing up for delivery alerts, installing a doorbell camera or security system, or sending the package to a different location.
When it comes to porch pirates, who is ultimately responsible? More than half of Americans don’t believe delivery companies do enough to prevent thefts, while 51% say retailers don’t do enough.
If you had a package stolen, what would be your first action? Would it be to Google what to do when a package is stolen? If so, you’re not alone. We analyzed total Google searches relating to package theft and piracy over the past few years and compared it per capita.
States with the hottest package theft spots include North Dakota, Rhode Island, Delaware, Vermont, and Nevada. States with the least amount of hot spots include North Carolina, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
When it comes to punishment for package theft, each state has its laws and penalties. In some states, depending on the package and its value, it may be considered a felony which would result in potential jail time, while in others it might just be a fine. If you have a package stolen, be sure to file a police report and consider installing a doorbell camera or security system.
In October 2023, we surveyed 1,000 Americans to get their feedback on shopping online and package theft, especially during the holiday season. Respondents were 48% female, 50% male, and 2% nonbinary with an age range of 18 to 77 and an average age of 43.
For the package theft hot spots ranking, we analyzed more than 460 Google searches and phrases directly relating to package theft and porch piracy and compared the total searches over the past 3 years per capita.
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