‘Tis the season for… porch pirates

by todaystrainingblog

It doesn’t matter what you call them, miscreants, hooligans, thieves, villains, scoundrels, or rapscallions. They are the Grinch personified because they will steal those one-of-a-kind packages meant for your someone special.

With all of the delivery services available, they will all be playing Santa Claus for millions of us by delivering those special packages. FedEx estimates that they will deliver in excess of 700 million packages and UPS more than that and with the postal service delivering even more, nearly two and a half billion packages, all for that one special person.

Now imagine the look of disappointment, instead of joy & delight, on the face of your special someone, when on Christmas morning when that special gift they envisioned isn’t there. And it’s all because some porch pirate stole the gift and enjoyment from getting/receiving it.

Still worse, is that a thief breaks your front window and takes them right out of your home. This will generally occur the week, albeit weekends are worse, immediately prior to Christmas. And why do people do this? It’s usually fairly simple to explain.

They are generally too lazy to work for what they want. And what they can’t give as a gift they can pawn. Then they have money for the necessities in their miserable existence. Yes I know the argument of pressure to give a gift and etc. but that just doesn’t hold water to those who lost the joy of giving to their special someone.

So in an effort to alleviate this kind of holiday heartbreak for you and loved ones, I have a few tips for you. Hopefully this will allow you to avoid these pirates who want to ruin your Christmas by helping theirs, and breaking in to take them as well;


  1. Instead of placing wrapped gifts under the tree put them in the closet. Wrap and place fake gifts under that tree. Put rocks or other heavier stuff in the boxes so they appear and feel real.
  2. Have your packages shipped to your work address. This may not be possible, but it never hurts to ask. Just be sure to have a place to put them and take them home very night in case you have a ner’do well at work. Better would be if you could take them to your vehicle whenever they arrive.
  3. Ask a friend or relative to either stay at your home while you work or have the packages shipped to their address. If you live by yourself… alone, then possibly getting a box at the nearest UPS Store or similar place may be of benefit, even just for the couple of months of Christmas. But… just remember not to close it too early, because some items may not arrive until well after Christmas, so you’ll want to ensure nothing gets sent back by mistake.
  4. . Possibly a trusted neighbor could sign for your packages instead. But get their permission to ship the packages to their address. Leaving a note for the delivery person isn’t good enough; most are either unwilling or too busy to back up to deliver a package, in addition to thieves putting up false notes.
  5. Set up a surveillance camera on your front porch. This will show the criminals face and what they did to steal your special someone’s gift and how lazy they are. Cameras are relatively inexpensive any more so ensure if you utilize this option that you get one that is hi-def. so facial features are easily recognizable. And another place to put a camera is focused on the street for vehicle description. Additionally, there are features in certain smart phones that allow them to be used as surveillance equipment.
  6. While you don’t necessarily need someone like a Mrs. Kravitz, of the 60s TV show Bewitched, have your neighbors be on the lookout for anyone or anything suspicious cruising the streets. Strange cars, people (walking the dog or new to the neighborhood), and delivery trucks without any markings of a service, and literally anything out of the ordinary.
  7. Try to install an alarm sensor that alerts you to someone on the porch. Whether you are at home or not, if it alerts you then you can slip on the camera and see who is there. And if you have a microphone as well, scare them away. There are several of these devices on the market and they allow you to answer the door bell or alarm from anywhere with cell phone coverage.
  8. Don’t fall into a false sense of security of utilizing the package delivery companies to actually ensure the proper recipient signs for the package. It may not happen, even if the sender paid for the service. All package delivery services will take the money for the recipient to sign for the package. But in the end they are within their rights of just leaving it at the front door or on the porch if they can’t get into the building or no one is home to sign for it (and yes despite their denials, I’ve experienced this first hand-several times).


Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 33 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

                     I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear