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Expect a 27% Increase in Stolen Packages This Holiday Season

This holiday season, there is a perfect storm of events suggesting that while other property theft might decrease, porch package theft will increase 23-27% over previous trendlines.
Updated Jan 28, 2021

Fast facts:

  • The Safety.com Home Security Research Team estimates a spike of 23-27% in porch theft throughout the 2020 holiday season.
  • In conjunction with available public crime data, Safety.com research has found that there will likely be a decrease in other types of property theft due to the likelihood that most people will be spending the holidays largely at home. [1]
  • With the COVID-19 pandemic slowing in-person holiday shopping, ecommerce is expected to spike over 20% in 2020, leading to a huge increase in package theft opportunities. [2]
  • Economic hardship has increased in 2020, which often results in an uptick in theft-related crimes. Porch theft is an opportunistic crime, which will likely spike under these types of economic conditions. [3]

[ Related: 9 Tips & Tools to Prevent Package Theft

 

The Safety.com Home Security Research Team is estimating a spike above previously expected trendlines of 23-27% in porch theft this holiday season due to three main factors:

 

Existing package theft trends 

Before the pandemic, there was an ever-increasing trend of people having package deliveries stolen from their front porch. As online shopping continues to take market share from traditional retail, this presents an opportunity for petty thieves to steal more goods right off of people’s doorsteps with little to no legal repercussion. Most package theft goes unreported and unprosecuted due to minimal damages suffered and difficulty of catching thieves even when a police report is filed. Even without a global pandemic, the sheer volume of porch delivery continues to increase; consequently, the crime rate increase follows.

 

Increase in home deliveries

There has been a massive shift in consumer trends this holiday season caused by the pandemic. As COVID-19 has forced more people to adjust their shopping habits to ecommerce this holiday season, there is an expected spike in the number of people who will have packages sitting on their front porch. And while many people might be home more throughout the day, committing a theft that takes less than one minute to complete is likely to go unnoticed.

 

Crime rates tied to economic trends   

Crime rates, especially property and theft-related crimes, almost always follow economic trends. When job loss and financial hardship increase, crime increases follow. According to Pew Research, lower-income Americans have been hit the hardest by the pandemic, and there have been signs that petty crime is increasing as things worsen financially for many in this economic bracket.

 

Despite the increase in package theft during the 2020 holiday season, we do expect to see a decrease in other theft-related crimes including home robberies. On the converse of porch theft, with people home more throughout the day, home invasions related to robberies are seeing a slight decline.

2020 Porch Theft Statistics:

  • Approximately 35% of U.S. residents claim to have been the victim of porch theft, a number that will continue to increase. [source]
  • Older generations are the most likely to be the victim of porch theft. [source]
  • Less than 10% of porch thefts are reported to the authorities [source]
  • Doorbell cameras can help prevent porch theft, acting as a deterrent if they are noticed by the thief. [source]

Sources:


Home Security Experts

Safety Team

The Safety Team is a group of experts that handle provider research, product reviews and recalls to make your home safety and security search as easy as 1-2-3.

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