Package theft has become the scourge of modern neighborhoods. With online orders at an all-time high, receiving packages has become normal for families and professionals. But porch piracy also makes the neighborhood feel unsafe. It's not just annoying to lose a package, it's also costly and frightening. This is exactly the kind of thing that community associations work to prevent. Of course, you want to protect your residents from package thieves and the other crimes that successful theft might invite.
Let's dive into the best practices to keep your community and individual homes safe from package piracy.
What Can Associations Do?
- Add security cameras to always and balconies
- Receive packages for residents
- Restrict entrance access
Condo associations have the benefit of controlling one shared building. Vandals must go into the condo building (or access the terraces) to steal packages from front porches. With increased security in the condo building and cameras in the shared front-door spaces, you can discourage and punish package thieves. You can also receive packages for residents at the front desk until the problem is resolved.
- Add security cameras to street lights
- Provide a community package locker
- Connect neighbors to receive packages
- Post photos of thieves caught by doorbell cams
Broad HOA neighborhoods have a larger open-air space to protect but you can still increase the security of the neighborhood. For security systems, monitor the street from light poles and other neighborhood structures. If there is a theft, you may catch the thief on film. Package lockers are ideal for neighborhoods, allowing residents to use the locker when they can't be home to receive their packages. You can also connect neighbors through a neighborhood chat channel to receive each other's packages in public.
What Can Residents Do?
Track Your Packages
Know the day and approximate time your packages should arrive. Keep track of when your packages are marked delivered so you are aware of a package that disappears. Report stolen packages immediately. If a neighbor or relative is home, ask them to bring in a delivered package before thieves have a chance.
Porch Motion Detection
Motion detection is your ideal defense against porch thieves. If the porch responds to their presence, they are less likely to brave a theft. Install motion detection on your porch and set up an alarming but non-threatening response to approaching figures.
Respond with Light and Sound
When the motion detection goes off, use both lights and sound. Switch on your security floodlight and play a recorded sound. Play a voice greeting or an alarm sound. Make sure it's something that won't worry real delivery people but will startle and unnerve a thief trying to sneak away with your package.
Sign for Your Packages
If you're worried about missing a package, make arrangements to sign for it. This will stop a delivery person from leaving the package at your door to be stolen. Some services will let you sign up for a specific delivery window so you can plan for a delivery when you're home. Otherwise, you may need to pick up a signed-for package at the depot if they miss you two or three times.
Security Camera or Video Doorbell
Record what happens on your porch. When the motion detection goes off, record a clip of whoever (or whatever) triggered it. While you will wind up with many porch cat clips. But if a porch thief comes by, you'll get a clear shot to give to the police.
Install a Package Hatch
A package hatch accepts packages but requires a lock to remove a package. It uses a trap-door mechanism to let delivery drivers do their thing while protecting your packages from thieves who would take your packages without the key.
Use a Package Locker
Any local package locker, from your community or in a local shop, A locker keeps your package safe until you can retrieve it. Should packages arrive while you're at work or away from home, they won't be exposed to thieves on your porch.
Preventing Package Theft in Your Community
As a homeowner's association, naturally you want to keep your residents safe from local crime. From flyers and tips to local security cameras, you can make an improvement and discourage porch piracy throughout your community.