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4 ways to prevent porch pirates from stealing your gifts

Package theft is at an all-time high this year
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Posted at 11:12 AM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 12:14:38-05

The Holidays are here. Unfortunately, it’s also prime time for porch pirates — those burglars who steal packages left on porches or at front doors.

Last year, porch thefts decreased, because many people were working from home during the pandemic. Now many homes are empty again during the day and thieves are more brazen than ever.

But there are ways to fight back. Our partners at Consumer Reports recommend several ways to keep your packages and home more secure.

1- Delivery lock boxes

Start with a package delivery box. Just as the name sounds, it’s a big box that you put on your porch. Delivery people can drop packages into it, but only you can open it with a key. It’s a great option if you can get delivery people to use it, but that can vary. A Consumer Reports tester said many deliveries ended up left on the porch next to the box.

The other drawbacks of these boxes are prices, which start around $150. The boxes also take up space.

2- Ring (or similar) doorbells

Consumer Reports said another option is a battery-powered video doorbell that can monitor your entryway and send an alert when a package is delivered. It’s easy to install, with no complex or intimidating wiring, and they are affordable. You can get a great one that costs around $100 or less.

Consumer Reports recommends the $100 Ring Video Doorbell home security camera. However, a $3 monthly subscription to a Ring Protect plan is required for package alerts. It can be worth it if you are out during the day.

The only downside, as you may have seen by news videos, is that many thieves now wear a hoodie and hide their face from the doorbell.

3- Cameras and floodlights

To extend security beyond your front door, Consumer Reports said to consider a camera system around your home, typically using four to five wireless or hard-wired cameras.

These tend to start around $250 for DIY systems like Swann, or a pro can install a system for around $1,000.

A new, cheaper alternative: a floodlight security camera.

They are really just floodlights that double as security cameras. One nice thing about floodlights is, on most homes, they’re already in spots that are ideal spaces for cameras, such as over your garage door. They are hardwired for power, so you don't have to worry about recharging a battery.

Consumer Reports recommends the the $180 Eufy light, which stores recordings locally on the camera itself. This allows you to skip that monthly cloud storage fee and you can see the images on your smartphone,

4 - Ask a neighbor

The old-fashioned way still works: ask a neighbor to pick up your package if you get a delivery alert.

That way, you don't waste your money.

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Don't Waste Your Money

8:47 PM, Oct 17, 2018

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