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Prime Day 2021: How to help prevent package theft

Prime Day 2021: How to help prevent package theft
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

With Prime Day deals on the way, there’s a good chance you’ll have some packages delivered to your home in the near future.. But with increasing numbers of deliveries from Amazon and other retailers have come a rise in package theft. A survey by C+R Research found that package theft had risen to 43 from 36 percent among 2,000 individuals polled last year, with an average value of $136.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways that you can help deter theft, through better lighting, scheduling, and more. Here are six tips to help keep porch pirates and package thieves from stealing your goods.

Six tips to help prevent package theft for Prime Day

Prime Day 2021

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

1. Make sure your porch is well-lit

While it’s true that plenty of package theft occurs during the daytime, it doesn’t hurt to have a well-lit entryway, which can deter porch pirates during the evening hours. Plus, it’s good to have plenty of illumination so that visitors can see where they’re walking. Check out our picks for the best solar lights for some examples. Another option is the Ring Spotlight Cam Solar ($229), which has a light and a camera, and runs on battery power.

2. Make it harder to see if you have a package

If you can make it more difficult for someone on your sidewalk to look at your front door to see if there’s a package, then there’s less of a chance that they’ll come any closer to see if you do have something worth stealing. Depending on the size of your porch, this may be difficult, but something like a delivery box could also help. This Cosco delivery box ($76) has 6. 3 cubic feet of space (31 x 19.5 x 18 inches) and comes in several color options.

3. Schedule your delivery

If you work outside your home, schedule your delivery for when you know you’ll be home. That way, a package won’t just sit by your front door all day, tempting someone to steal it. One option is to use Amazon Day, a service which allows you to receive all your orders on one specific day during the week. According to Amazon, this also reduces the number of boxes. To use the service, which is free for Prime members, go to Amazon Day.

Woman tapping smartphone while delivery person hands her a package.

(Image credit: Indypendenz/Shutterstock)

4. Track your packages

If you know when your package is due to arrive, you can make sure that either you or a neighbor is around to pick it up. “It might seem very basic,” said Chris Carney, CEO & Cofounder of Abode, “but if you know which day, or in some cases the window of time at which it will be delivered, you can make a plan for either being home, or having a friend or neighbor pick up the package for you to avoid theft.”

5. Use an Amazon Hub Locker or Counter

Instead of having a package delivered to your home, you can have it sent to an Amazon Hub Locker or Counter, where you can pick up the package at your convenience. The service is free to use, but there are a few limitations. Items shipped to an Amazon Hub Locker must weigh less than 10 pounds, be smaller than 16 x 12 x 14 inches, and have a value less than $5,000. Amazon Hub Counter items can weigh up to 33 pounds and measure up to 36  x 24 x 24 inches. For more information, such as Amazon Hub Lockers and Counter locations, please refer to Amazon’s Hub Locker homepage.

6. Install a video doorbell or home security camera

Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2

(Image credit: Ring)

A video doorbell will let you know when someone approaches your front door, so it can act as a deterrent. And, if someone steals your package, you’ll have a video record of them. Some of the best video doorbells, such as the Nest Hello and Arlo Video Doorbell, have a package-detection feature that lets you know if a delivery person has dropped something off. That way, you can pick it up from your stoop quickly. Later this fall, package detection will be added as a feature to all security cameras that use Apple’s HomeKit Secure Cloud Storage.

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Mike Prospero

Michael A. Prospero is the deputy editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing the smart home, drones, and fitness/wearables categories. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine or some other cooking gadget.