Expected record online holiday shopping may boost porch package thefts

Online sales in the U.S. are expected to reach a record $207 billion between Nov. 1 and New Year’s Eve

This holiday season is expected to be a record for online shopping in the U.S., which could mean an uptick in package thefts from porches, according to reports. 

Package thefts rose last holiday season as Americans opted to shop online rather than brick and mortar stores because of the coronavirus pandemic and porch piracy went up by 7% (36% to 43%) from 2019 to 2020, according to a survey conducted by C + R Research. 

Online sales in the U.S. are expected to reach a record $207 billion between Nov. 1 and New Year’s Eve, according to Adobe Digital Economy Index, U.S. News and World Report reported. 

"We are entering a second holiday season where the pandemic will dictate the terms," Patrick Brown, Adobe’s vice president of growth marketing and insights, said in a statement, according to World Report. "Limited product availability, higher prices, and concerns about shipping delays will drive another surge towards e-commerce, as it provides more flexibility in how and when consumers choose to shop."

The District of Columbia has the highest rate of porch piracy, followed by Louisiana, South Carolina and Hawaii, according to a report by CCTV Camera World, which sells home security equipment. 


Holiday shopping will start ramping up next week with Black Friday and Cyber Monday afterward and as consumers start buying Christmas presents after Thanksgiving. This year, consumer spending accelerated in October as shoppers kicked off the holiday shopping season earlier than usual due to the supply chain bottlenecks. 

The Baton Rouge Police Department in Louisiana suggested installing security cameras near your front door or additional lighting. Consumers could also ask drivers to leave packages out of plain sight or at a work address or a center where the package can be picked up, the department said, according to WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge. 

"Looking at previous years, you do see an uptick during the holiday season of potential threats," Baton Rouge police Sgt. Don Coppola Jr.. said, according to the station. "So, it is something that we have seen an uptick in previous years."

Cpl, Ron Buzzetto, a Pasco County Sheriff’s Office crime prevention expert in Florida said, "I do feel like it’s a growing problem for sure." While Florida fares better than some states – it’s the 21st worst state for package thefts, according to the report – thefts are already ticking up this year in some areas, WTSP-TV in Tampa Bay reported.  


"The best thing for somebody to do is to have it delivered to an alternate address or where someone’s going to be there to receive it," Buzzetto told the station. "That pretty much ensures that you’re going to get it."