Protecting your packages

A FedEx worker unloads packages from his delivery truck June 18, 2008 in San Francisco, California. FedEx reported a huge decline in fourth quarter earnings citing the rising price of fuel as the main factor in the loss. FedEx earnings were down 78 cents a share, or $241 million, compared to $1.96 per share or $610 million one year ago (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

You see the reports on the news almost every week: another thief, caught on camera stealing a package – sometimes right after delivery! Whether you call them package thieves, porch pirates, or just a Grinch – you want to avoid being a victim if you can.

But the statistics aren’t good. PEMCO Insurance says as many as one in five Americans have lost a package to this kind of crime.  You can avoid being one of them – or being a repeat victim – by taking precautions long before delivery day.  Start by setting up delivery alerts, which let you know where your package is, and when it is likely to arrive.  You can also require a signature for delivery, which ensures that the package won’t be left on your doorstep.  If you can’t be home for delivery, consider having the package sent to your work; or ask a neighbor if they would be willing to grab the package before porch pirates have a chance.

Another option is having your packages held for you. You can ask FedEx, UPS, and the USPS to hold a package at one of their locations until you can pick it up.  If you're ordering from Amazon, you can opt to have the delivery dropped at an Amazon locker.

Home security systems might not be able to stop thieves, but a well-placed camera can sometimes give police an idea of who they're searching for.  There are also gadgets available that will set off an alarm if a package is removed from the porch without authorization.

You can find more tips from PEMCO Insurance here.