4 Steps to Take when a Package is Stolen

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4 Steps to Take when a Package is Stolen

More than 40% of Americans have felt the sting of package theft.  After they discover the package is missing and experience the frustration that comes with it, the question that arises next is: What do I do now?

To this end, here are 4 steps to consider if a package is stolen from the doorstep.

Step 1: Contact the Delivery Company

It’s probably best to contact the delivery company first. They should have information about when and where the package was delivered. It is important to determine if the package actually made it off the truck, if it is lost in the shipping channels, or if it’s still in a warehouse somewhere.

Once it is determined that the box wasn't received, each shipper has their own process they follow. Here’s a detailed look at what to do for each popular delivery provider.


If you purchased the item at Amazon, go to your orders and initiate an A-to-z Guarantee refund, which covers a refund on lost, stolen, or damaged. There are a number of requirements and rules for this process, but generally it first directs customers to the seller (if it isn’t Amazon). If they don’t respond within 48 hours, Amazon allows for the filing of a claim within 90 days of the purchase.

Because of this policy, Amazon is known for being very responsive when it comes to package theft. Here’s some positive customer feedback on Twitter:


For FedEx deliveries, go online and file a claim. Make sure to have the package’s shipping tracking number to get started. Through this portal you can report the missing package, upload additional documentation, check the status, or cancel your claim.  

Doing it online allows the victim to receive claim payments and track it for up to 12 months. Typically, the company covers up to $100 of the total value of the shipment or the full amount insured. 


If the tracking information shows that UPS delivered the package but it is nowhere to be found, contact the sender of the package to initiate a trace process with UPS. To note, UPS will not allow a claim to be filed until 24 hours after the delivery took place.

The sender will then follow up with you on the progress of your shipment. Generally, UPS will not reimburse a consumer if the package was delivered to a residence and then stolen. It will work with both the sender and the purchaser, as well as, law enforcement for a given claim. However, UPS will not issue a refund unless there’s proof that it was responsible.


First, file an online request a USPS to begin a search for the missing item and to get the local post office involved. If after 7 days the package is not found, the next step is to submit a Missing Mail Search Request. At this point, enter all pertinent information and pictures.

If the package is not found, USPS customers who used Priority Mail Express can request a refund, and those that paid for insurance can file a claim. This process must be started no later than 60 days from the date of mailing.

Step 2: Contact the Retailer

If the issue cannot be quickly and fully resolved through the shipper, contact the store or retailer next. Most large companies that do a lot of shipping will replace the package with only a few questions asked. Here’s a great example of a positive customer experience with a large retailer, Sephora:

When it comes to smaller retailers, it depends on how well they work with customers and whether or not they can afford to replace items on a regular basis.  Also, if it’s a one-of-a-kind product from somewhere like Etsy, then a replacement might not even be an option. 

Still, it’s worth reaching out to the retailer. They might have great customer service and create a customer for life with their response to the issue. Here’s a great example:

Step 3: Report the Theft

Make no mistake, porch piracy is a crime. Reporting the theft to law enforcement is an important step that often gets skipped because the victim doesn’t want the hassle or doesn’t want to bother the police. But by reporting the crime, it gives the police a better chance of catching the thief in a certain area.

Also, If the crime is reported it will become part of the local and national crime statistics. Why is this important? Because increasingly more states are pushing for stronger penalties for porch pirates. If they can prove the issue is a serious problem, it will help get support for stronger penalties and greater vigilance.

Also, if a buyer is filing for an insurance reimbursement, a police report will probably need to be submitted along with the claim.

Step 4: Contact the Credit Card Company 

Another option is to contact the credit card company used in the purchase. Many credit cards policies offer free insurance on every purchase, so it is worth finding out what protection benefits may be available for package theft. To note, there’s usually a value limit on these types of benefits and it will typically require a police report.


Although the onus is on the buyer to deal with package theft, there are several options in attempting to get reimbursement for the loss. If Amazon is the retailer and the shipper, most buyers have had success in getting a refund or a replacement. If not, there are some options with other delivery companies, but most likely contacting the retailer is the next best option. If it’s a larger retailer, there’s a good chance the item will be replaced or refunded. If it’s a smaller retailer or an exclusive item, the buyer may not be as successful in recouping the loss. Also, credit card companies have some options for reimbursement.

Ultimately, don’t forget to report the crime. The more law enforcement and lawmakers are aware of package theft, the more all Americans can expect more measures to fight it.

More from the The Ultimate Report on Package Theft in America:

How Often are Delivered Packages Stolen?

As 8 in 10 Americans now shop online, home package delivery is rising fast and furiously. With this increase in parcels at the doorstep, package theft has also been on the rise. So how common is package theft?

Where and When does Package Theft Occur?

Which US metro areas and states have the highest interest in package theft? How does the proximity of a residence or business relate to higher incidences? And what is the most prevalent time of day and year for porch piracy? We answer these questions and more here.

Who are the Victims of Package Theft and are You at Risk?

How much do we know about the victims of package theft? And are you at risk? Although there isn’t a lot of crime data on this, there are some conclusions to be drawn in looking at relevant data and a few studies.

Who Steals Delivered Packages and How Do They Do It?

You’ve probably heard of “Porch Pirates”, the catchy phrase used to describe criminals who steal packages from porches. There are plenty of gotcha videos about them on YouTube catching them in the act, and they always find their way in the news around the Holidays.  But who are these porch pirates, and how do they steal packages?

Who is Responsible for Package Theft and What is Being Done About it?

“Why me?” is likely exclaimed by many Americans who are victims of package theft. Ultimately, the question is: Who is responsible for package theft and what is being done about it? Although there isn’t a clear answer, taking a closer look at some of the key aspects might help.

How can Package Theft be Prevented?

Despite some retailers and package delivery companies making an effort to stop porch piracy, much of this burden is still put on the consumer. So with this in mind, here are some ways you can prevent package theft.

What is the impact of Package Theft on Online Shopping?

Around 35.5 million Americans have had a package stolen, adding up to an estimated $5.4 billion in losses. So what is the overall impact to purchasing behavior, retailer revenue, and consumer trust in online shopping?

4 Steps to Take When a Package is Stolen

More than 40% of Americans have felt the sting of package theft. After they discover the package is missing and experience the frustration that comes with it, the question that arises next is: What do I do now? To this end, here are 4 steps to consider if a package is stolen from the doorstep.

A Complete Look at Package Theft Statistics

We know that porch pirates are on the prowl in the US. There are enough reports on Twitter, YouTube and other forums to prove this. There are some significant studies, surveys and reports that have been conducted to get a clearer understanding of the key statistics related to parcel theft. For convenience's sake, we’ve compiled data from the variety of sources available here.