It’s the season of gifts: giving gifts, selling gifts, delivering gifts, and stealing gifts. With the holidays just around the corner as well as Black Friday and Cyber Monday fast approaching, more people are planning to order online than ever before. Coincidentally, this also means that people are more concerned about package theft than ever, which means the greatest gift of all this time of year might be a video doorbell.
In fact, according to SafeWise’s Package Theft in America report, one in four Americans say they’ve upgraded to some level of security system after a robbery. Combine that with the fact that 79% of all Americans have been the victim of package theft over the past year, and that’s a lot of security system purchases, even if it amounts to just a modest video doorbell.
“Package theft is an opportunity crime,” says Dr. Ben Stickley, an expert in criminal justice and package theft, as well as a member of the SafeWise advisory group. “The more packages that are left for longer periods on the porch, the more likely they are to be stolen. With the Christmas gifting season in full swing, there will be a huge increase in packages on the porch.
“Add to that, people are busier at this time of year and their routines have changed as they may work later and spend more time away from home shopping or visiting family and friends, so packages are left out on the porch for longer.”
The best and worst cities for package theft in the United States
Last year alone, 260 million packages were pulled from homes’ front porches, an increase of 50 million from the previous year, and the cities worst of all:
- San Fran Oakland San Jose, California
- Seattle Tacum, Washington
- Austin, Texas
- Hartford-New Haven, CN
- Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, California
- Los Angeles, California
- Portland, OR
- Fresno Visalia, California
- Milwaukee, WN
- New Orleans, Los Angeles
Interestingly, the report found that while California cities occupy 40% of the bottom spots, California residents themselves are 11The tenth The least worried about the parcel being stolen. On the contrary, Florida residents are among the most concerned (4The tenth) about package theft even though their cities command 30% of the safest areas in the United States. The full list of cities of least concern is:
- Miami Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
- Tampa St. Petersburg-Sarasota, Florida
- Durham Raleigh Fayetteville, NC
- Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Florida
- Cleveland Akron (Canton), Ohio
- Detroit, Michigan
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Nashville, Tennessee
- San Diego, California
- San Antonio, Texas
But across the board, Americans worry about package theft more than any other crime in America (53%), and that’s because package theft occurs more than any other crime in America (34%). The second most common crime, property crime, comes in at just 27%, based on the reported experiences of more than 20,000 Americans.
As to why they are so prevalent, Stickell considers, “The risk is very low, and the punishment, even if caught, is minimal. In addition, media attention to package robbers may draw more people to the crime as they are made aware of the opportunity.” .
Homeowners seek to better monitor their homes
As mentioned earlier, 79% of Americans surveyed were the victim of package theft within the past year, but three out of four Americans have been the victim of package theft at least once during their lives. More than half of these victims had multiple packages stolen, and with 40% of all packages between $50 and $100 stolen, that’s an estimated loss of $19.5 billion in stolen packages.
This gives great value to prevention and deterrence strategies and thus presents a great opportunity for a security professional who is able to sell and implement effective measures.
When discussing technologies that can be implemented to help, Abhi Bhatt, Senior Vice President of Product and Innovation at Vivint, noted that doorbell cameras have the most value in the entire setup. Once installed, a high-quality doorbell camera can provide live coverage of the package delivery area, send notifications as soon as packages arrive, surprise burglars with lights and alarms once they’re armed, and help capture more video recordings.
From there, integrators can offer more sophisticated solutions, providing full coverage, motion-sensitive lighting to prevent people from walking around the property and outdoor security cameras. Bhatt highlighted Vivint’s Outdoor Camera Pro as an example, where you’re able to detect and track burglars using AI software, and even trigger an alarm if they stay on the property for too long. Outside of this specific solution, video storage can be used to record footage of thefts in action to help catch perpetrators.
It won’t just benefit homeowners; It will also open up opportunities to increase sales and RMR through additional functionality such as secure cloud storage of any recordings captured. All it takes is a simple offering, such as a video doorbell, to serve as a foot in the door for more complex solutions. Homeowners get a taste of what’s possible, and that’s what allows integrators to offer higher value offerings with greater coverage, smart automation, and push notifications.
If 80% of Americans are victims of package theft, there’s no need to wait until they lose money before spending more money on a solution that could have prevented it in the first place. Likewise, this means that there is no reason for integrators to wait when a solution is sold. As more people are made aware of the value of a security system, integrators have the opportunity to provide a safe and secure answer to a common problem while being able to grow their business in the process.