Experts offer ways to protect packages from porch pirates

Experts offer ways to protect packages from porch pirates
Updated: Nov. 29, 2022 at 5:30 PM EST
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – With Cyber Monday over, customers wait for the packages they ordered to arrive at their doorstops.

However, they aren’t the only ones waiting.

Thieves sometimes make sure those packages never make it inside.

However, there are steps customers can take to protect their purchases.

For a homeowner in Hartford, it started with one person on his Girard Avenue porch. The person loaded up as many packages as a hand could hold.

“I was not expecting that, not here at least,” said David Hochoy, who had his packages stolen.

Hochoy said he couldn’t believe what his ring camera captured next.

Less than a half hour later, according to the timestamp, someone else came.

“I saw another person come by,” he said.

Hochoy said the double theft happened earlier this month. He claimed he reported it to the retailers, so he wasn’t out the money.

However, he said he was wondering what would’ve happened if he didn’t have the camera record.

“I could have been in the dark for quite some time,” he said.

Other people who live in the same neighborhood said they’ve had to resort to more drastic options to keep their packages safe.

“I installed two lock boxes so I could have protection for both incoming and outgoing packages,” said Elizabeth Ehrlich of Hartford.

Ehrlich said she learned the hard way after she tried to send a batch of orders from her home craft business through the mail last year.

“I went out to check my basket and the entire thing was gone,” she said.

Ehrlich said it was about $750 down the drain.

Channel 3 spoke with Michael Giusti, an insurance analyst for insurancequotes.com.

It did a survey and found 26 percent of Americans have had a delivery stolen from their porch.

For those who haven’t, their chances of being a target could go up

“Sixty-four percent said that all of their shopping’s going to be done online this year,” Giusti said.

If shoppers can’t get the package delivered to another location, Giusti said the best advice is to limit the time a package is sitting unattended.

Most carriers have a system to alert customers about when a package has been dropped off.

If people don’t think they can be home, he recommended listing in the delivery instructions a safe place to tuck the package that’s out of sight.

If customers don’t opt to sign for the package in-person, Giusti said there’s one thing to keep in mind.

“You’re taking the ownership the second that they ring your doorbell and leave that on your porch,” he said. “They have successfully delivered it and the liability is no longer theirs.”

A successful delivery doesn’t mean a transaction is complete when others could be closely watching.

“You see cars following behind all the delivery vans and then scooping up packages off of peoples’ porches!” Ehrlich said.

For more on Insurance Quotes’ findings in its Porch Pirates: Stolen Holiday Package Study, head here.