According to the New York Times, e-commerce results in 1.5 million packages delivered every single day in New York City alone! With billions of packages delivered every year, a new form of theft is sweeping the nation. Porch poachers are stealing packages off people’s doorsteps at an alarming rate. In California, package theft is so common that authorities won’t even write a report for packages valued under $800. While e-commerce has made shopping much more convenient, it also demands new safety measures to avoid falling prey to this new kind of crime.

Scare Off Poachers With a BlankBox

Part of what makes porch poaching so appealing to criminals is how easy it is. You can just walk up to a home and casually pick up a box. You don’t need to smuggle an item out of a store or break into a home or vehicle. You don’t have to pick a lock or smash a window. So how can consumers fight back? One way is to make it just a little less easy.

The BlankBox is a tool to do just that. A BlankBox is a decoy package that you leave on your doorstep. It looks like a package a criminal might want to steal. But any thief who tries to make off with it is in for a surprise. Inside a BlankBox is a simple but ingenious device, similar to a mousetrap. The device is loaded with a blank bullet round, and when the box is lifted, the blank fires. It sounds like a gunshot, and that should be enough to scare off most poachers. It won’t necessarily keep a real package from being stolen, but a few of these around your neighborhood may convince thieves to look elsewhere.

Other Ways to Avoid Porch Poachers

It may be helpful to scare off poachers, but the best way to avoid having your packages stolen off your doorstep is to have them delivered somewhere else. If you work in an office, you can have your parcels delivered there. The boxes will usually be brought inside the building, not left out where they can be taken. Even if a package arrives outside of business hours, it should be pretty safe.

Another option is to use a delivery locker. Amazon has delivery lockers in many central locations. Instead of leaving items outside your home, items are delivered to a locker, similar to a post office box. When your package is delivered, you receive an email with a code and the number of the locker box. After that, you have a few days to visit the locker and pick up your item. Simply find the right box and enter the code to unlock it and collect your package. Amazon lockers are one of the most secure ways to receive a package since only the person with the code can access the delivered items.

If you need items delivered to your home, consider uses a camera security system, such as a ring cam, to keep an eye on your packages. It can’t prevent a theft, but it may help identify one after the fact. Another tip is simply to pick up your packages as quickly as possible after they are delivered. Many e-commerce sites send a notification as soon as a package is delivered. If you can, pick up the package as soon as you get the notification. If you aren’t home, ask a neighbor. Parcel theft is a major problem across the US, but you can take steps to protect yourself. Don’t become a victim!

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