One in four Canadians have had a package stolen by a porch pirate: survey

We are entering one of the busiest times of the year for home deliveries which also makes it primetime for porch pirates.

A new survey by FedEx Express Canada finds that Canadians are growing increasingly worried packages left in front of their home will be taken by porch pirates.

“We are heading into the last week before the holidays, possibly the most critical time for merchants and online shoppers and you don’t want anything to go wrong,” said James Anderson, communications advisor with FedEx Express Canada.

Online shopping more than doubled during the pandemic and the FedEx Holiday Shopping survey found that 69 per cent of online shoppers across Canada are worried about package theft.

Twenty-four per cent of online shoppers across Canada said they had one or more packages stolen in the past year. That number jumped to 66 per cent in Ontario.

FedEx said the survey found that 45 per cent ranked the ability to track packages as the most important feature that mattered to them.

FedEx is encouraging its customers to use digital tools such as its delivery app which allows users to give directions to drivers on where to place packages or have them delivered to a safer location such as stores working with FedEx and allowing their locations to be used as package pickup points.

“We can have the package redirected on your request to one of the outlets partnering with us such as Home Hardware, Staples or Metro. It’s a lot safer and more secure to do this then to leave a package sitting on your doorstep,” said Anderson.

To avoid porch pirates, you can ship to a trusted friend or neighbour, send the package to a work address, request a signature on delivery or opt for in-store or curbside pick-up.

More home owners are also installing delivery boxes which can be secured to your home which allow couriers to place the packages inside the box keeping them safe until you arrive home.

While some porch piracy thefts may be linked to organized crime others could be a crime of opportunity, but police warn that porch pirates are being caught and charged.

“Theft is a criminal offense and do you really want a criminal record for something that’s worth 20 bucks?” said Derek Rogers, media relations coordinator, with OPP West Region.

Vancouver Police just charged a man following a porch pirate investigation. They found thousands of dollars worth of running shoes, golf clubs, tools and other items in his home. Most of the packages have now been returned to their rightful owners. 

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