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Porch Pirates: The Latest Theft Trend Targeting New Zealanders

As New Zealanders are confined to their homes due to lockdowns, it’s not surprising that parcel volumes have surged. With many Kiwis relying on online shopping for their essential items. Unfortunately, this has seen a rise in ‘porch pirates’ too. From February 2020 to February 2021, almost half a million kiwis had their packages stolen, with one of the most common target being paywave cards.

This puts another layer of stress on New Zealanders who are already feeling the pressure of stock shortages in the lead up to christmas. So how can we ensure our important deliveries are kept safe? Smartway Security have compiled a helpful guide on their top 5 ways to protect your parcels. 

Choose Signature Delivery 

One of the easiest ways to ensure your parcels are safe is to opt for ‘signature required’ delivery. Even though this service typically costs a few dollars more, it’s worth it for the extra security. 

In the event you will not be home to sign for your parcel, it will be rerouted to the nearest depot instead of being left on your doorstep. The parcel can then be re-delivered when you are home, or retrieved from a local post office pickup location. 

Specify Delivery Instructions 

As the postal service receives an influx of parcels, workers rush to complete deliveries, often leaving them in plain sight. If you have an enclosed porch or an area hidden from view, you can include delivery instructions with your parcel to ensure it is placed in a safe place. 

This option isn’t as safe as signature delivery, as you have no guarantee the postie will adhere to your instructions. However, It is still a good alternative if signature delivery is unavailable for any reason. 

Install A Parcel Lockbox 

Those who steal parcels are looking for quick opportunities. The quicker they can grab and get away, the better. A parcel lockbox will not only keep your parcels out of sight of thieves, but also locked away safely until you return home. The only downside of this option is the cost, with lockboxes costing upwards of $100. However, if you frequently receive deliveries, you will get your money’s worth in theft prevention within no time. 

Be Vigilant 

With shocking reports of thieves impersonating posties to steal parcels, and even stalking courier vans for opportunities, Kiwi’s should be on the lookout for suspicious behaviour. You should notify the police if you see unknown individuals loitering around, people driving slowly through the neighbourhood, or a car tailing a courier van. 

It’s a good idea to discuss any suspicious activity with your neighbours as well, who can keep an eye out for parcel thieves when you are away from home. 

Invest In A Security Camera 

Having a visible security camera installed is one of the best ways to deter theft. Besides reducing the likelihood of parcel theft, it also provides a way for police to identify thieves if an incident occurs. Additionally, CCTV cameras provide proof for any delivery disputes such as packages damaged by, or even stolen by delivery drivers. Ensuring you are covered by your delivery insurance.  

Motion detection cameras that connect to your phone and alert you when someone enters your property are also available. You receive a notification on your phone, and you can see in real time who is on your property. There are even some that have a speaker, so you can send a message to the would-be thief!  

Waikato Residents can count on Smartway, the area’s leading CCTV installers, for high quality Security Camera Installations. For a more comprehensive level of protection, Smartway also offers tailored security solutions.