How to Protect your Home from Porch Pirates

By Tim Chesonis •  Updated: 03/07/23 •  15 min read
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To protect your home from porch pirates, you can take several prevention measures, including choosing the right package delivery option, installing a home security system, participating in a neighborhood watch program, using porch lockers, and taking other prevention measures. In addition, you can respond to porch pirates by catching them in the act, reporting the theft to authorities, and taking steps to recover stolen packages.

In this article, I will go through each prevention measure in detail, providing actionable steps that you can take to safeguard your home and packages from porch pirates.

Understanding How Porch Pirates Operate

Porch pirates are individuals who steal packages from porches and doorsteps. They look for homes that have packages that have been delivered, and steal them when they are left unattended. They may operate alone or in groups, and may use disguises or other tactics to avoid being identified. Some porch pirates even use tools to break into packages or tamper with them to see what is inside to see if they are worth taking.

These criminals may target homes in neighborhoods with high levels of package deliveries or look for specific types of packages, such as those that are clearly marked as expensive or valuable. Porch pirates are a growing problem that require proactive prevention measures to protect homes and packages from theft.

Assessing Your Home’s Vulnerability

Before you can effectively protect your home from porch pirates, you need to assess its vulnerability to theft. By understanding the common entry points and high-risk times for porch piracy, you can take steps to minimize the risk of package theft. In this section, we’ll explore how to assess your home’s vulnerability to porch piracy and determine the best prevention measures to implement.

How do you determine if your home is at risk?

To determine if your home is at risk of porch piracy, you should start by looking at the frequency of package deliveries to your area. If you notice a high volume of deliveries in your neighborhood, this may indicate that your home is at higher risk. Additionally, you can evaluate your home’s accessibility and visibility from the street, as well as the availability of hiding spots for packages. Homes that are easily accessible and visible from the street, with little to no hiding spots, may be more vulnerable to porch piracy. Finally, you can also evaluate the crime rates in your area to determine the likelihood of porch piracy occurring.

What are the common entry points for porch pirates?

The common entry points for porch pirates are typically the front porch or doorstep, where packages are left unattended after delivery. Additionally, porch pirates may also target side doors or back porches that are not easily visible from the street or that have poor lighting. In some cases, porch pirates may also attempt to gain entry to homes through unlocked doors or windows. It’s important to be aware of these common entry points and take steps to secure them to prevent porch piracy from occurring.

What are the high-risk times of day for porch piracy?

The high-risk times of day for porch piracy are typically during daytime hours when most people are away from their homes at work or running errands. This is when package deliveries are most frequent, and when porch pirates can most easily strike without being noticed. However, porch piracy can occur at any time of day or night, so it’s important to take steps to prevent theft regardless of the time of day. Additionally, during the holiday season, porch piracy may increase due to the higher volume of package deliveries, so it’s important to be especially vigilant during this time.

Preventive Measures You Can Take Against Porch Pirates

To protect your home from porch pirates, there are several preventive measures you can take. These measures include choosing the right package delivery options, securing your home’s entry points, and installing security cameras or other devices. By taking these steps, you can greatly reduce the risk of package theft and protect your home from porch pirates.

1) Package Delivery Options

There are several package delivery options available that can help prevent porch piracy. One option is to require a signature upon delivery, which ensures that someone is present to receive the package and prevents it from being left unattended on the porch.

Another option is to have packages delivered to a secure location, such as a locker or a post office box, where they can be picked up at a later time. Some delivery services also offer in-home delivery, where packages are delivered inside your home instead of being left on the porch.

Additionally, some retailers offer same-day or next-day delivery, which can help reduce the amount of time that packages are left unattended.

How do you choose the best package delivery option for your needs?

To choose the best package delivery option for your needs, you should consider several factors.

  1. Evaluate the level of security offered by each option. For example, requiring a signature upon delivery or using a locker or post office box can provide greater security than leaving packages unattended on the porch.
  2. Consider the convenience of each option. Same-day or next-day delivery may be more convenient but may come with an additional cost. In-home delivery may also be convenient, but may require additional setup or installation.
  3. Consider the availability of each option in your area, as some delivery services may not offer certain options in your location.

What are the pros and cons of each package delivery option?

Below, I have created a chart for you to compare the Pros and Cons of each package delivery option at a glance.

Package Delivery Option



Signature upon delivery

Ensures someone is present to receive the package
Prevents packages from being left unattended on the porch
Provides proof of delivery
Requires someone to be present at the time of delivery
May be inconvenient if you are not available to sign

Delivery to a secure location

Provides greater security for packages
Reduces the risk of package theft
Allows for packages to be picked up at a later time
May require additional travel to pick up packages
May be inconvenient if you need immediate access to package

In-home delivery

Provides greater security for packages
Eliminates the risk of package theft
May be more convenient than other delivery options
Requires additional setup or installation
May be more expensive than other delivery options
Requires granting access to your home

Same-day or next-day delivery

Provides faster delivery times
Reduces the amount of time packages are left unattended
May be more expensive than other delivery options
May not be available in all areas
May not be as secure as other delivery options

2) Home Security Systems

Installing a home security system can greatly enhance the security of your home and deter porch pirates from targeting your property. There are several different types of home security systems available, each with their own features and benefits.

What are the different types of home security systems available?

  1. Monitored Home Security Systems
    These systems are monitored 24/7 by a professional monitoring company. If the alarm is triggered, the monitoring company will contact you and dispatch emergency services if necessary.
  2. Unmonitored Home Security Systems
    These systems are designed to alert you if someone enters your home without authorization. They usually include loud alarms and flashing lights to deter intruders and alert you to the intrusion.
  3. DIY Home Security Systems
    These systems are designed for self-installation and are often wireless. They may include cameras, motion sensors, and alarms, and can be controlled through a mobile app.
  4. Smart Home Security Systems
    These systems integrate with other smart home devices, such as door locks and thermostats, and can be controlled through a mobile app. They may also include cameras and motion sensors.
  5. Video Doorbell Systems
    These systems include a camera and doorbell that can be accessed through a mobile app. They allow you to see and communicate with anyone who comes to your door, and may also include motion sensors to alert you to any activity outside your home.

The type of home security system that is best for you will depend on your specific needs and budget. It’s important to research different options and choose a system that provides the level of security and features that you require.

How do you choose the right home security system?

Choosing the best home security system for your needs depends on several factors, such as your budget, the size of your home, and the level of security you require. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a home security system:

  1. Features
    Consider what features are important to you, such as cameras, motion sensors, and remote access. Some systems may offer more features than others, so it’s important to research different options and choose a system that meets your specific needs.
  2. Installation
    Some home security systems require professional installation, while others can be self-installed. Consider the level of installation expertise required and whether you are comfortable installing the system yourself or would prefer to hire a professional.
  3. Cost
    Home security systems can vary widely in price, so consider your budget when choosing a system. Keep in mind that some systems may require ongoing monthly fees for monitoring services or other features.
  4. Reputation
    Research the reputation of the company behind the home security system to ensure that they have a good track record of providing reliable and effective security solutions.

What are the pros and cons of each home security system?

Below, I have created another chart for you, but this time, to compare the Pros and Cons of each type of home security system at a glance.

Home Security System Type



Monitored home security systems

24/7 professional monitoring
Can provide a quick response to emergencies
Can deter intruders
Can be expensive
May require a long-term contract
False alarms may result in fines

Unmonitored home security systems

Can be affordable
Can deter intruders
May provide audible alerts to neighbors or passersby
No professional monitoring
No emergency response
False alarms may annoy neighbors

DIY home security systems

Easy to install
Can be customized to fit your needs
May include mobile app for remote control
No professional monitoring
May require troubleshooting
May not be as reliable as other systems

Smart home security systems

Integrates with other smart home devices
Can be controlled remotely through mobile app
May include cameras and motion sensors
May be expensive
May require professional installation
May be vulnerable to hacking or network outages

Video doorbell systems

Can see and communicate with visitors remotely
May include motion sensors and recording capabilities
Can deter porch pirates
May require professional installation
May not provide comprehensive home security
May be vulnerable to network outages

3) Neighborhood Watch Programs

Neighborhood watch programs are community-based initiatives designed to enhance the safety and security of a neighborhood. These programs involve residents working together to keep an eye out for suspicious activity, deter criminal behavior, and report any incidents to local law enforcement.

Neighborhood watch programs can include regular meetings to discuss safety concerns, training sessions to educate members on how to recognize and report criminal activity, and community events to promote a sense of unity and deter crime.

Neighborhood watch programs can be an effective way to prevent porch piracy and other types of theft in a community. Here are some ways that neighborhood watch programs can help prevent porch piracy:

  1. Increased Vigilance
    Neighborhood watch programs encourage residents to be more aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement. By keeping an eye out for unusual behavior and reporting it promptly, residents can help prevent porch pirates from stealing packages.
  2. Deterrence
    The presence of a neighborhood watch program can also deter porch pirates from targeting homes in the community. Knowing that residents are actively looking out for one another and reporting suspicious activity can make would-be thieves think twice before attempting to steal packages.
  3. Education
    Neighborhood watch programs often provide training and resources to help residents better protect their homes and prevent theft. This can include information on how to secure packages, tips for improving home security, and guidance on how to recognize and report criminal activity.
  4. Community Building
    Neighborhood watch programs can also help build a sense of community and encourage residents to look out for one another. By fostering a strong sense of community, residents can work together to prevent porch piracy and other types of crime.

Overall, neighborhood watch programs can be a valuable tool for preventing porch piracy and promoting safety in a community.

Starting a neighborhood watch program in your area can be a great way to promote safety and prevent crime in your community. The first step is to gather interested residents and organize a meeting to discuss the potential neighborhood watch program. This can be done by creating flyers and posting them in public areas, sending emails to neighbors, or using social media to spread the word.

Next, you should reach out to your local law enforcement agency to discuss the neighborhood watch program and ask for their guidance and support. They can provide valuable resources, such as training and educational materials, to help you get started. With their assistance, you can develop a plan for the neighborhood watch program. This plan may include identifying key areas of concern in the community, setting goals and objectives, and establishing communication channels for reporting suspicious activity.

Once you have a plan in place, you can recruit members to join the neighborhood watch program. This can be done by hosting another meeting to present the plan and ask for volunteers, or by going door-to-door to talk to your neighbors. Finally, with a team in place, you can begin implementing the neighborhood watch program by conducting regular meetings, training sessions, and community events.

4) Porch Lockers

If you are concerned about porch piracy and want a secure way to receive packages, porch lockers may be a good solution for you. Porch lockers are secure, weather-resistant storage containers that can be placed outside your home to receive package deliveries. Here’s what you need to know about porch lockers:

Porch lockers are storage containers that are designed to receive package deliveries. They can be made of various materials such as plastic, metal, or wood, and are typically lockable to prevent theft. When a package is delivered, the delivery person can place it inside the porch locker, and the homeowner can retrieve it later at their convenience.

Porch lockers work by providing a secure, weather-resistant storage space for package deliveries. They are typically located outside the home and can be accessed using a key or combination lock. When a package is delivered, the delivery person can simply place it inside the locker, and the homeowner can retrieve it later using their key or code. Porch lockers can be a great way to prevent porch piracy and provide a secure way to receive packages.

Though porch lockers do enhance the security of your packages, and you can retrieve them at their convenience, there are also some cons to using porch lockers. For example, they can be expensive to purchase and install, and may require regular maintenance to keep them in good condition. Additionally, some homeowners may find that they have limited space for a porch locker.

Other Prevention Measures to Prevent Porch Piracy

There are several other prevention measures you can take to protect your home from porch pirates that are worth mentioning. Here are a few additional measures you may want to take into consideration:

  1. Install Security Cameras
    Security cameras can help deter porch pirates by capturing footage of their activity. This footage can be used to identify suspects and may be useful in prosecuting them if they are caught.
  2. Require Signature Confirmation
    Requesting signature confirmation for package deliveries can ensure that packages are not left unattended and are only received by the intended recipient.
  3. Use smart Lock Technology
    Smart lock technology allows you to remotely lock and unlock your door, and can provide a secure way for delivery personnel to leave packages inside your home.
  4. Request a Hold on Packages
    If you know you will be out of town or unable to receive packages for a period of time, you can request a hold on package deliveries until you return.

Again, you may want to consider of these options, but know that by taking any proactive approach to preventing porch piracy, you will help protect your home and ensure that your packages are delivered safely and securely.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, porch piracy can be a frustrating and concerning problem for homeowners, but there are steps you can take to protect your packages and prevent theft. By understanding the tactics used by porch pirates, assessing your home’s vulnerability, and implementing prevention measures such as package delivery options, home security systems, and neighborhood watch programs, you can significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to porch piracy.

It is important to remember that no prevention measure is foolproof, and porch piracy can still occur despite your best efforts. However, by being vigilant and taking steps to secure your packages and deter porch pirates, you can greatly increase your chances of keeping your deliveries safe. In the end, it’s up to all of us to work together to prevent porch piracy and keep our communities safe.

Tim Chesonis

Tim loves writing and helping people succeed. He brings a wealth of wisdom and insight from an entrepreneur's perspective, loves Linux, his iPhone and his iPad. When he's not writing another article, he's probably binge-watching “The Middle” or “Breaking Bad”, (again). To learn more about Tim, click here.