“Porch pirates” are on the increase.
What is a porch pirate?
A porch pirate is a person who steals a parcel that has been left on a porch/balcony or on top of apartment mailboxes.
Last week the North Shore Area Police Command posted the post below on their Facebook page.
A few weeks ago a parcel was stolen from an apartment lobby in King St Wollstonecraft. The recipient went to collect the parcel and it was not there. The sender confirmed delivery via a photo of the parcel in the building lobby.
Porch Pirates are also targeting Hello Fresh deliveries.
Porch Pirates an International Issue
The porch pirate is not just a Lane Cove, North Shore or Australian issue. This week, in New Jersey the state legislature introduced a bill for higher penalties for porch pirates. If the bill is passed stealing something worth less than $200 will be punishable by 18 months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. If the item is worth $200 or more, a porch pirate could get three to five years behind bars and a $15,000 fine.
If your parcel is missing from your premises, after it has been delivered by Australia Post, don’t expect help from Australia Post. Mail that is stolen from a resident’s property after delivery is a criminal offence and is a police matter. ITC understands that Australia Post’s delivery drivers are also required to take a photo of parcels left in a safe location, which are kept as a record of delivery.
The most common complaint about Australia Post deliveries relates to the delivery person’s choice of location to leave an item. In some cases, delivery people may have taken too broad a view of what would be considered a ‘safe’ place to leave an item. A review of the Australia Post procedures recommended that Australia Post should emphasise in its training to delivery people that if they cannot find a place to leave an item where it cannot be seen from the road and is safe from weather and pets, it must not be safe dropped but should be carded for collection.
Ten Tips to Stop Porch Pirates
Here are 10 tips to stop the porch pirates:
- Have packages delivered to an address or neighbour where someone will be home;
- Schedule deliveries for times you will be home;
- Require a signature – if you are not home and the parcel is delivered by Australia Post you will need to collect it from the Lane Cove Post Office (it is open on Saturday mornings) or if Toll delivers, they drop it off at the Lane Cove Newsagency;
- Sign up to the MyPost Delivery with Australia Post – customers can choose to have their parcels redirected in-transit to a more convenient address, text their delivery preference, and even have their items sent to their local post office or 24/7 parcel locker.
- If you’re a frequent online shopper, you might consider a 24/7 mailbox with Lane Cove MBE;
- Consider using a smart locker or lockbox or if you live in an Apartment ask the Body Corporate to install a parcel lockbox – they should speak to Alerts Locks and Security;
- Install security cameras to deter thieves;
- Install a Video Doorbell like Ring – Some authorities believe the video doorbell may be one of the reasons for this decrease. A study at the University of North Carolina reported that most professional burglars said the presence of any security system led them to target another home.
- Keep an eye out for your neigbhours and if you see a parcel from the street – either leave a note saying you have it or put it in a less visible place.
- If you live in an Apartment with a security door, do not let anyone follow you in – make them use their own security pass or be buzzed in.
Do you have a local issue you would like help with? ITC is here to help just email us at [email protected]
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