November 2, 2018

‘Tis the season for… porch pirates

Call them what you will, hooligans, thieves, scoundrels, ner’do wells, or rapscallions. They are Dr. Seuss’ personification of the Grinch because they will steal those one-of-a-kind packages meant for your someone special.

Santa Claus, this time of year, is played by FedEx, UPS, USPS, and Amazon. Untold millions of packages will be delivered by them and soon they will be joined by drone deliveries covering skies and porch’s everywhere. The estimates go as high as 3 billion packages being delivered before Christmas Eve, and the USPS still delivering on Christmas if necessary.

Imagine the look of utter disappointment, instead of joy & delight, on the face of that special someone, when on Christmas morning when that special gift they envisioned isn’t there, all because some porch pirate stole the gift, not to mention the enjoyment from them receiving it.

Worse still, is if 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, cigarettes, liquor, and drugs. Yes, I know the argument of pressure to give a gift, but that just doesn’t hold much snow, just ice to those who lost the joy of giving.

In an effort to alleviate this holiday despair and anxiety for you, I have a few tips. Hopefully this will allow you to avoid these pirates who want to ruin your Christmas by helping theirs, and breaking in to take them;

  1. 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 daily in case you have a thief at work. Better would be if you could take them to your vehicle whenever they arrive.
  2. 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. Don’t 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.
  3. . 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.
  4. Set up a surveillance camera on your front porch. This will show the criminals face and what they did to steal that package and how lazy they are. Cameras are relatively inexpensive 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. There are also features in certain smart phones that allow them to be used for surveillance.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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. In the end they can, and will, just leave 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. Despite their denials, I’ve experienced this first hand…several times.


I hope these tips will help to ensure that your packages are delivered on-time and to the person they were bought for. No one wants their hard-earned gifts going to someone who doesn’t deserve them.

Watch for my tips on keeping your holiday safe from these rapscallions while shopping, on the way home, and while you’re at home.

Have any questions or comments? Drop me a line and ask! You cain’t get an answer unless you do!

Robert D. Sollars helps organizations to safeguard the lives of their employees and students and lessen their risk of violence, as well as with other security–related issues, using time–tested and proven ideas.


Twitter: twitter@robertsollars2



Phone: 480-251-5197

He is the author of three books on preventing violence in both schools and businesses, all available on Amazon.

His book–related website, with full information on his most recent book, Murder in the Classroom: A Practical Guide for Prevention, is:

I May Be Blind, but My Vision Is Crystal Clear


Permission to reprint and share? Of course, with these guidelines: The original content must be printed in full, with original wording and full attribution.

Copyright 2018 Robert D. Sollars

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