A Complete Look at Package Theft Statistics

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We know that porch pirates are on the prowl in the US. There are enough posts on Twitter, YouTube and other forums to prove this. However, package theft falls under larceny and is not reported by most police departments under its own category. This makes it difficult to understand exactly how common it is. 

This said, 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.

How Common is Package Theft?

According to C+R Research in 2020:

  • 43% of Americans had a package stolen, up 7% from the previous year
  • 64% of package theft victims have had a package stolen more than once
  • 43% say they know a neighbor who was victimized

In a 2020 survey by valuepenguin.com conducted about 4 months after the Covid-19 outbreak:

  • Nearly 1 in 5 Americans were victims of porch piracy
  • 18% had a package stolen since the outbreak
  • 43% had reported a package theft in the past
  • 54% of respondents had multiple deliveries stolen in the prior 12 months
  • 57% of stolen packages were delivered by Amazon
  • Groceries delivered by services like HelloFresh and Instacart made up 14% of stolen packages.

In a report by Bellevue, Washington police:

DeliverySafe Protects Your Package and Food Deliveries from Theft, Weather, and Spoilage
  • Mail theft increased 72% in Nov 2020 compared to the previous year

In a Los Angeles police department report:

  • Porch piracy increased almost 600% from 2010 to 2017

According to a survey at Finder.com in 2020:

  • 35.5 million Americans had been a victim in the last year.  
  • 39% had a package stolen once, 36% twice, 11% three times
  • 52% were worried a package would be stolen during the holiday season

In a 2019 New York Times Report:

  • Over 90,000 packages a day were stolen or disappeared without explanation in NYC, up roughly 20 percent from four years prior
  • José Holguín-Veras, an engineering professor and director of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Center of Excellence for Sustainable Urban Freight Systems, found that every day over 1.7 million packages disappear

For a more detailed look, see How Often are Delivered Packages Stolen

Who are the Victims of Package Theft?

According a survey at Finder.com in 2020:

  • 17% of men say they’ve had a package stolen versus 11% of women
  • Over 25% of those making over 100K per year were victims
  • Only 12% of those making under 60K had a package stolen
  • Millennials made up 49% of the victims

According to a valuepenguin.com survey:

  • In the last 12 months, 56% of the Gen Z generation had a package stolen, 50% of Millenials did, and 47% of Gen X’ers were victims
  • In the last 12 months, only 24% of Baby Boomers and 18% of the Silent Generation had a parcel taken.

See Who are the Victims of Package Theft for a more in-depth look.

How Often are Packages Received?

According to C+R Research in 2020:

  • 10% of Americans receive packages every day, doubling the year before
  • 49% receive a package at least once a week
  • Only 1% never receive a package

What is the Value and Cost of Stolen Packages?

According to a survey at Finder.com in 2020:

  • The average value of a package reported stolen was $156.82
  • The average cost for men was $190.47 compared to $111.72 for women
  • Stolen packages totaled $5.4 billion in value over the last year

According to a valuepenguin.com survey:

  • In the last 12 months, the average value lost to package theft was $106
  • Victims have reported losses as high as $4,800 from a single package
  • About 75% said they were paid back or received a free replacement item 
  • The Silent Generation reported the highest value lost per package at $210 
  • Gen X lost $122 per package, Millennials lost $113, and Baby Boomers lost $97
  • Gen Z only reported an average of $21 per package stolen

Who Steals Packages?

According a study by Ben Stickle, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Administration at Middle Tennessee State University, and his colleagues:

  • Porch pirates are split between men (49%) and women (51%)
  • 94% of the thieves were under 45 years of age
  • 54% were White
  • 67% came from the middle class

According to a survey at Finder.com in 2020:

  • 5.29% of men say they have stolen a package
  • 0.85% of women said they have been a porch pirate
  • 4.6% of Gen X’ers say they have stolen a package in the last 12 months, followed by Millennials (4.3%) and Gen Z'ers (3.8%).

Check out Who Steals Delivered Packages and How Do They Do It for a deeper look.

Where are Packages Stolen?

According to Wakefield Research:

  • 34% of porch piracy occurs in cities
  • 20% of thefts occur in suburban areas
  • 13% of incidents are in rural areas

According to DeliverySafe research in 2021:

  • San Francisco is the top city per capita for Google search interest in package theft with Richmond, VA second and New York third
  • The District of Columbia is the top region or state with Massachusetts second and New York third

See Where and When Does Package Theft Occur for more info.

Who is More Likely to Report a Package Theft?

According to a survey at Finder.com in 2020:

  • 17% of men have reported a package stolen
  • 11% of women have reported the theft

What do People do to Prevent Package Theft?

According to the valuepenguin.com survey:

  • One-third of all Americans haven't taken steps to reduce their chance of package theft
  • Around half of those 55 and older have not taken any measures
  • More than 8 in 10 millennials have taken precautions meant to deter potential thieves
  • 35% of consumers set up package tracking notifications
  • 20% installed a door camera to help prevent package theft
  • 16% require a signature
  • 14% purchased package insurance
  • 14% changed a delivery time so they can be home
  • 8% receive packages at their office

According to  C+R Research:

  • 50% of respondents purchase a doorbell camera, motion lights or other type of surveillance camera
  • 39% stay at home to meet the delivery drive

During the holiday season:

  • 24% do an in-store pickup to avoid package theft
  • 23% install home surveillance equipment
  • 21% just shop at stores
  • 13% have packages sent to a delivery center
  • 13% request that drivers hide a package
  • 11% send deliveries to friends or relatives

According to a  Shorr.com survey:

  • 64% have packages sent to an address other than their home
  • 78% have changed their plans to ensure they were present to receive a package
  • 51% have a package hidden by the delivery person if possible
  • 29% have moved away

See How Can Package Theft be Prevented for more info.

Don’t be a Statistic, Best Bet is to get a Lockable Package Box

Clearly, the statistics about package theft are compelling and should heed warning to all Americans. Although the studies show people are taking some measures to prevent it, the best way to protect your packages is to get a lockable package box, which is emerging on the market of late. 

The leader in the market is DeliverySafe. It can be placed on a front porch or by an entryway where packages are usually left and has a keypad that allows delivery people to open it and lock packages safely inside. It is also built to hold multiple, large parcels and can even help keep groceries fresh with insulation and optional ice packs. 

 


The Ultimate Report on Package Theft in America

Package Theft Report in America - Thumbnail

This article is part of our full report on package theft in America. Here are all of the blogs posts on this topic:

  1. How Common is Package Theft?
  2. Where and When Does Package Theft Occur?
  3. Who are the Victims of Package Theft and Are You at Risk?
  4. Who are Porch Pirates?
  5. Who is Responsible for Package Theft and What is Being Done About It?
  6. How to Prevent Package Theft
  7. What is the Impact of Package Theft on Online Shopping?
  8. 4 Steps to Take When Your Package is Stolen
  9. A Complete Look at Package Theft Statistics


DeliverySafe's Lockable Package Delivery Box is the Modern Mailbox

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The Watchguard for Your Deliveries

Follow us for important news and trends around online shopping and package delivery.