How to Prevent Package Theft in Apartments: Full Guide

Online shopping has become a staple of convenience, but it has also led to a rise in package theft, especially in apartment buildings. Package thieves, often dubbed “porch pirates,” prey on unattended deliveries, leaving residents frustrated and without their goods.

However, effective strategies exist to combat this issue and ensure your packages arrive safely in your hands. Let’s explore how to prevent package theft in apartments, offering peace of mind to residents and property managers alike.

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Top 7 Ways To Stop Package Theft in Apartment Buildings

1. Track Your Packages

Keeping a close eye on your package’s journey is the first step in preventing theft. Most delivery services offer package tracking that sends real-time updates about your delivery’s status. By monitoring your package’s journey, you can plan to be home when it arrives or arrange for someone else to pick it up.

Furthermore, some online retailers and delivery services provide delivery notifications via email or text. It can help you stay informed about when the delivery person will arrive with your package, minimizing the time it sits unattended.

Tracking Parcel on a Mobile Phone

2. Get the Package Rerouted to Family or Friends

If you won’t be home to receive a package, consider having it rerouted to a trusted family member or friend who can accept it on your behalf. It ensures that your package is received by only the intended recipient and not left in a vulnerable spot where package thieves can easily snatch it.

Informing the delivery company about this alternative delivery option is necessary. It can be done through most online shopping platforms or the delivery service’s customer portal. It provides an added layer of security for packages delivered. Most services also allow you to update delivery instructions.

Delivery Man Handing a Package to a Woman

3. Require Signature On Delivery

Requesting signature confirmation for your deliveries is a powerful deterrent against packages stolen by thieves. This requirement ensures that packages are handed directly to you or a trusted individual rather than left unattended.

If you’re not home, the delivery service will typically leave a note with instructions for rescheduling the delivery or picking up the package from a local post office or delivery center.

While this option adds an extra step to the delivery process, it significantly enhances the security of your packages, particularly during the holiday season when package theft spikes. Inform your delivery carriers or select this option through the shipping company’s website when finalizing your purchase.

Man Signing a Paper

4. Buy A Video Doorbell Camera

Installing a video doorbell camera is an effective way to monitor your doorstep and deter potential thieves. These devices allow you to see, hear, and speak with anyone at your door, including delivery personnel, even when you’re not home.

Doorbell camera also records videos of thieves stealing packages, which can be strong evidence for legal action. With motion detection alerts sent directly to your mobile device, you can keep an eye on your deliveries in real-time.

Furthermore, the presence of a camera itself can deter would-be package thieves. Many models offer seamless integration with other home security systems, providing an added layer of protection for your apartment.

Video Doorbell Camera

5. Install Security Cameras

Security cameras installed around the apartment building, especially near entry points and common areas like the package room (or package locker), provide a comprehensive view of the premises. It enhances security against stolen packages long after the delivery person drops them.

Security cameras deter potential package thieves and help identify them if theft occurs. High-quality video footage can be invaluable in filing a police report and assisting law enforcement agencies in their investigation. Inadequate surveillance systems cannot provide evidence of great quality.

Modern surveillance cameras have features such as remote access, allowing property managers and residents to monitor their property from anywhere. The added security measure protects packages and contributes to the safety of all apartment residents.

Security Cameras

6. Install A Video Intercom System

A video intercom system enhances security by enabling residents to see and communicate with delivery persons before granting access to the apartment complex. This system works by installing cameras and intercoms at entry points, which are connected to monitors inside the apartments. [1]

When a delivery driver arrives, they use the intercom to contact the resident, who can then visually confirm the delivery person’s identity and the package before remotely unlocking the door or package room.

This ensures that packages are delivered securely and only the intended recipient or a trusted person can gain access, significantly reducing the risk of package theft.

Video Intercom

7. Install Electronic Access Control

Electronic access control systems [2] offer a sophisticated solution to secure package deliveries. These systems restrict access to the building and specific areas, like package rooms, to authorized individuals. They require individuals to use key cards, fobs, or mobile credentials to enter the building, preventing unauthorized entry.

The property manager can easily manage and monitor access rights, ensuring that only delivery personnel, residents, and authorized staff can access the premises.

This control over who enters the building greatly minimizes the risk of package theft, as it eliminates the chance for thieves to enter the property unnoticed.

Electronic Access Control

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What is Package Theft?

Package theft, often called “porch piracy,” occurs when unauthorized individuals steal packages left unattended at a recipient’s doorstep, in a common area of an apartment complex, or even from a post office box.

Package theft has risen with the increase in online shopping, as there are more package deliveries to homes than ever. Thieves often target apartment buildings due to the higher density of deliveries and the relative ease of accessing packages left in hallways or communal mail areas.

Preventing package theft involves a combination of vigilance, community cooperation, and the implementation of security measures such as secure delivery options, surveillance systems, and controlled access to minimize the opportunity for thieves to strike.

What Can You Do If Your Package is Stolen?

If you find yourself a victim of a stolen package, take immediate action to mitigate the loss and possibly recover your stolen items. First, contact the delivery service and the retailer to report the missing package. Many online retailers have policies for such incidents and may offer a refund or replacement.

Next, file a police report with your local police department, providing any details and evidence you have of the package stolen, such as the delivery notification or video footage.

Additionally, inform your property management or building manager about the theft, as they may have additional security footage or have noticed suspicious activity. Finally, alternative delivery options, such as package lockers or requesting signatures on delivery, should be considered to prevent further incidents.


How do you handle package theft?

Report the theft to the shipping company, the retailer, and local police. Provide any evidence and inquire about refund or replacement policies. Additionally, alert your property management to enhance security measures.

Why is package theft so common?

Package theft is prevalent due to the increasing volume of online shopping and the convenience of leaving packages at doorsteps or in common areas, making them easy targets for thieves.

Is keeping a misdelivered package theft?

Yes, knowingly keeping a package that was misdelivered to your address without attempting to return it or notify the carrier can be considered theft or receiving stolen property in some jurisdictions.

Wrapping Up

Package theft is a growing concern, especially in apartment communities where the volume of deliveries can create opportunities for theft.

Residents can significantly reduce the risk of package theft by being proactive and using strategies such as tracking deliveries, securing packages in lockers, and installing surveillance systems.

If you’ve experienced package theft or are concerned about the security of your deliveries, remember that you can take steps to address the issue and protect your future packages.

Are you looking to enhance the security of your apartment complex or need advice from a security expert on preventing package theft?

Contact us today for a free consultation. Our security experts can help you find the right solutions to keep your packages safe and secure. Don’t let package theft disrupt your life; take action now to protect your deliveries.

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