Dec 1, 2021 - Business

Austin among 10 worst metros for package theft

A photo of Amazon boxes.
Photo: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Keep an eye on the porch as you're placing holiday orders and awaiting the arrival of those Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases.

Ouch: Austin ranked No. 6 on a list of the top 10 worst metro cities for package theft.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic changed Americans' shopping habits, driving consumers online and making porch pirates peskier than ever.

In a survey of 1,000 Americans, Safewise and Cove Home Security found that roughly 210 million packages disappeared from porches across the country in 2021.

  • Denver ranked No. 1 for package theft, with San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Seattle and San Antonio trailing behind.
  • Texas is the only state with multiple cities on the list, the survey found.

What they're saying: "The more packages left for longer periods of time on a porch, the more likely they are to be stolen," said Ben Stickle, an expert on criminal justice and package theft and a member of the SafeWise advisory group.

"Add to that, people are busier this time of year and have their routine shifted as they may work later and spend more time away from home shopping or visiting with family and friends, so packages are left sitting exposed on the porch for longer," he added.

  • In response to package thefts, Round Rock Police Department's fifth annual "Operation Front Porch" kicked off earlier this month. The program allows residents to ship their packages to the police department for safe keeping.

The Safewise survey also found that 72% of Americans say the pandemic made them more concerned about theft of packages from their homes. Plus, more than 54% of respondents plan to shop online more than last year.

A bit of good news: Austin's ranking dropped three spots compared to 2020. Not great, but hey, we'll take what we can get.

If a package is stolen: File a police report that includes security footage (if you have it). Contact the sender for a possible free replacement. You can also file claims online with FedEx, UPS and USPS.

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