Retail

How The Porch Pirates Stole Christmas

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The porch pirates have returned for another season of holiday suburban swashbuckling.

For those unfamiliar with the term, porch pirates are thieves who cruise neighborhoods looking for unattended eCommerce orders. According to new data from security firm Ring, about 20 percent of eCommerce shoppers have been the victims of porch piracy during the holiday shopping season.

Ring, we should note, uses cameras to combat this exact problem.

Consumers receive around a package a week on average in the age of eCommerce, according to Ring, but that figure grows sharply during the Christmas shopping season. Last year, the average consumer had a total of nine packages delivered to their doors — though, given the outstanding numbers for online shopping already logged in 2017, it is likely that figure will go up.

Apart from increased opportunity, Ring inventor and Founder Jamie Siminoff noted that there are other aggrevating factors in the market this year.

“You also have this opioid crisis that’s happening, that’s driving people to get small amounts of money out of desperation,” he said.

According to video home security firm Blink, the most likely locales for theft are in rural areas, where packages are more likely to sit in places where there will be few witnesses.

“If a package is sitting there by itself in a rural area, there [are] not as many people around to see it,” said David Laubner, Blink’s head of Digital Marketing and eCommerce.

The average value of a stolen package is $250. Some retailers will reimburse for those losses, but not all.

“The real problem is when friends or a family member send you something not insured,” Siminoff said. “Those [packages] are the ones you have to be most careful with.”

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