Security and Safety

5 Ways to Prevent Porch Thefts

By Brian Kendall 3.29.17

In the old days, folks got a kick out of watching their rotating lawn sprinklers and saying “howdy” to whoever passed by. Today, our porches are less often the setting for such simple pleasures. On the contrary, they’re now places where we should be wary of thieves.

Whether it’s a valued accessory or a package recently delivered, your stuff might not be safe if it’s not locked behind closed doors. According to one 2015 report, 23 million Americans have had their packages stolen from their homes, and that number is expected to climb. How can Texans like you protect belongings and packages?

Here are five tactics to help keep would-be crooks off your porch. 

1. Keep items secure.

While it might seem obvious, it’s easy to forget that you left your bike on the porch after a ride around the neighborhood. Be sure to lock up bikes, scooters, lawn and sporting equipment or put it in the garage. When decorating your lawn, consider putting more sentimental decor closer to your home and farther away from foot traffic to help deter theft.

2. Start a neighborhood watch.

If others in your neighborhood have become victims of porch theft, drumming up support from your local community or homeowners association for starting a neighborhood watch should be easy. But before you go around combing your street for crimes, we recommend following this National Crime Prevention Council checklist to make sure you’re going about it the right way.

3. Specify recorded delivery as your delivery option.

When a package is delivered and left on your front porch, it turns into a welcome mat for unwanted eyes. Unfortunately, if the package is a residential delivery and doesn’t have a high-value marker, it’s often left at your doorstep. If you’re expecting something of value or importance, ask the sender to select the option that requires a signature for delivery — an important feature most delivery services offer.

4. Get packages delivered to your workplace.

Avoid losing your deliveries to sticky-fingered passersby by having it shipped to your workplace. If your place of work doesn’t allow personal deliveries, consider investing in a P.O. box from your local mail provider or post office.

5. Invest in a smart security camera.

Installing a smart security camera, such as this one from Nest, can deter would-be thieves. Unlike a normal security camera, a smart security camera can broadcast a live feed of your porch to your computer or device, which will allow you to keep an eye on that package and immediately report any attempted theft. Plus, if you advertise the fact that your unwelcome visitors are being watched, the smart camera will allow you to watch them walk — or run — away.

The Bigger Picture

Now, going out of town for a few days greatly increases the chances you’ll become a victim to front porch theft, but that doesn’t mean you have to become a statistic. Beef up security, come together with your neighbors, and be mindful of possessions left outside to prevent porch pirates from ruining your day.

Don’t leave your house unprotected from thieves, severe weather, and more — protect your home sweet home in the Lone Star State with homeowners coverage from Texas Farm Bureau Insurance.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation.

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