Porch Pirates: Everything You Should Know and 8 Ways on How to Stop Them


Swinging open the compound gate made the lips of old Miss Braganza bent upwards with gleaming eyes as she could find a parcel lying at the doorstep of her small cottage bungalow. 

She hurried forward, and with all her excitement, started to open the parcel, thinking her nephew must have sent a surprise gift for her on her birthday in advance.

Yesterday, she exchanged words with him. But alas! The box was empty with just a `thank you’ note inside.” PORCH PIRATES!!” she grumbled in despair.

What are porch pirates?

The word `porch’ has been derived from the old French word called ` Porche’ and the Latin word `Porticus,’ which means the front space having a roof and partially enclosed, found at the entrance of any building.

The word `pirate’ is derived from the Greek word `peirein’ to attempt an attack, and the Latin word `pirata.’ The word `pirate’ means persons who attacked ships in the sea and committed illegal violence in the old days.

But in modern days, pirates are aided with the high-end technology, unlike the pirates of the old days.

By joining these two words, ` porch’ and `pirates,’ the sense that we get is that it means an illegal attack at the doorstep or near a house entrance. So, a porch pirate means theft of a parcel or any package left unattended at the entrance of your dwelling place or in the distribution channel.        

These modern pirates steal delivered packages from the porches. The best time for these miscreants is the holiday season when people are mostly found to order products and gifts online for delivery at home.

Porch pirates are generally found to target larger delivery packages as they presume it to symbolize a high-end product with a large value.

History of porch pirates

These two words came into existence in the year 2010, and in the year of 2011, the phrase got to be showcased in the urban dictionary and twitter. Gradually people got connected and used to this term with the increasing online shopping spree during the decade.

The fact got even way ahead as and when the local news and the social media started reporting about thefts of parcels at the doorstep or in its distribution channel. Slowly people got more and more aware and cautious regarding such malpractices.

Generally, it has been observed that porch pirates thefts are very common in the metropolitan cities. These cities are densely populated with different types of people ranging from the highest income group to the lowest and thereby creating an economic disparity at a very high level. 

Stories can be heard that these thieves at times after taking out the packaged item leave a `thank you’ note or fill up the empty box with some useless stuff like old newspapers or rugs, etc. Do not feel shocked even if you come across to know that these crooks fill up the empty box with trash releasing foul smell!!

How to stop porch pirates?

The following measures can be followed to stop porch pirates robbing your belongings:-

security camera on brick wall


A camera with high definition picture quality, maximum wide-area visibility, and sharply pointing at the package’s drop-off area can be installed outside at the entrance and towards the backyard of your house to capture porch pirates in action. 

Video Doorbells

Video Doorbells may not be prime home security set up. Still, along with a security camera, it is a good option since it can easily identify the thief than an overhead camcorder. Moreover, the installation is also quite easy and is found along with the motility activation.

Advertise Security

You can even scare these crooks by installing a signboard at your house, stating that `You are under close Vigilance.’ These thieves are not so well refined, so seeing this sign, they will back off from you’re your house.

Online Lockers

You can book online lockers. Your package will be kept there, and you can take it back at your convenience.

Delivery Code

You can even ask the delivery person to get it signed at the delivery time or even share a secret code that can be verified during delivery at the doorstep.

Porch Locker

Another thing to deter porch pirates is installing a safety locker at your entrance with a buzzer and strong locking definitions. In this way, your packaged item will be kept their securely. But in this case, make sure the locker’s size is a big one so that any packaged item can fit in smoothly.

Ordinary Packaging

You can even ask the sender to deliver the item in a strong but non-attractive package so that no one can think that there can be a high-end product with great value. In this way, you can easily fool these thieves.

Delivery Place

Instead of taking the delivery at your residence, you can direct the sender to make the delivery at your office or at any online site near your home from where you can easily collect the item. In this case, you need to carry the thing home by yourself, but it is quite better than getting robbed.

Porch Pirate Statistics

 It has been found that, out of every ten adults, eight of them are indulged in online shopping, and this has led the market to excel at a minimum flat rate of 15% annually in any product shopped online from the last year. 

It has also been observed that, among the online shoppers, about 13% of people tend to order products online during their holiday trip, and out of them, almost 40% are found to be the victims of porch piracy. You must note the fact that this 40% is the recorded figure. In real terms, the number of victims is soaring high up day by day. 

Worst State for Porch Piracy

According to US Packaging and Wrapping, the states of Wyoming, Vermont and California has the highest rate of package theft on all 50 states.

Image source: uspackagingandwrapping.com

And the states of Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina are among the top three states who have the lowest package theft rates.

Image source: uspackagingandwrapping.com

Final Words

Based on the things mentioned above, you probably have an idea on what are porch pirates, what they do, how they operate and how to fight them. This year may be due to COVID 19 pandemic, or due to general awareness among people, the rate of thefts has slightly dropped down from that in the previous year.

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