As more consumers opt for the convenience of online retail shopping, it’s given rise to a growing trend — package theft. Porch pirates are thieves who steal delivered parcels that are left at a recipient’s doorstep. In some cases, these thieves follow mail carriers and delivery trucks around neighborhoods and watch for packages to be delivered to make their move. Some even go the extra mile and wear a delivery service uniform to appear less suspicious when pilfering goods. Fortunately, there are some simple measures you can take to prevent this from happening to you. Read on to learn how you can thwart these sneaky thieves.

Over the past year, the total value of parcels that have been stolen from American customers is $5.4 billion. Since this problem has worsened over the years, especially during the holiday season, many homeowners have gotten creative and resorted to implementing booby traps to get back at porch pirates. These include fake packages that contain glitter bombs and stink sprays that explode and surprise the thieves.

However, there are much more effective and safer tactics. For example, installing outdoor security cameras or doorbell cameras can help discourage porch pirates from stealing your goods or even catch them in the act. The cameras provide you with a video record of the crime that you can give to police. You can even install motion sensor porch lights for extra security.

Consider having your parcels delivered at a location other than your home. This can include an Amazon delivery site, P.O. box, your place of employment or post office. If you know a family member, friend or neighbor will be home, you can even send your package to his or her residence to help ensure its delivery and safety.

Another way to combat package theft is to request a signature for your parcel upon delivery. That way, the delivery driver won’t leave your goods unattended if you’re not home to sign. This strategy is useful when ordering valuable packages. Another alternative is to sign up for Amazon Key if you’re an Amazon Prime member. This lets you have packages delivered inside your home, garage or vehicle from authorized delivery associates. It doesn’t require a key. Instead, you use a smartphone app to remotely unlock your door to let the delivery person enter.

To learn more about how to stop porch pirates in the age of online retail shopping, see the accompanying resource.

Infographic provided by Bosma