Where and When Does Package Theft Occur?

Image for Where and When Does Package Theft Occur?

Where and When Does Package Theft Occur?

A startling 43% of Americans have been a victim of package theft, and 64% have been targeted for this crime more than once. As 59% of Americans now receive at least one package per week, concern for porch piracy has reached an all-time high. So an important question arises: Where and When Does Package Theft Occur?

Top Places for Pilfering

US Metro Areas


source: Google Trends
(Darker blue indicates more interest)

According to Google Trends, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose is the leading US Metro area with the most search interest per capita in the last year for the phrase “stolen package”. Here’s a look at the top 10:

  1. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose
  2. Richmond-Petersburg VA
  3. New York
  4. Hartford & New Haven CT
  5. Providence RI-New Bedford MA
  6. Boston-Manchester NH
  7. Austin TX
  8. Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto CA
  9. Los Angeles
  10.  Philadelphia

US States


States for Package Stolen

source: Google Trends
(Darker blue indicates more interest)

The District of Columbia is the top state/region in the US when looking at the same Google trends. Here are the Top 10 region/states: for the term “package stolen”:

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Massachusetts
  3. New York
  4. California
  5. Connecticut
  6. Minnesota
  7. Oregon
  8. Arizona
  9. New Mexico
  10. Pennsylvania

Visibility is a Clear Factor

Ben Stickle, a former police officer and current Associate Professor of criminal justice at Middle Tennessee State University, and his research team looked at dozens of YouTube videos displaying porch piracy in action.  One major conclusion was that distance from the street to the front door impacts the culprit’s thought process.

“We looked at three distances,” Stickle said at wtop.com. “One was very close, the other was kind of a medium distance of about 25 feet, and then the other was farther than that. What we found was that the closer the house is to the road, the more likely in our sample the package was to be stolen.”

The Time for Crime

Looking at Google Trends over the period of a year (chart below), it is clear that  “package theft” interest spikes after Black Friday and continues to just past Christmas. As would be expected, it aligns with the number of packages being shipped. 

Search over Time

source: Google Trends

Consumer’s Fear the Holidays

In 2019 a C+R Research survey showed that 92% of the respondents expected to get at least one type of online order delivered to their home during the holiday season, and 47% said they are worried about a package being stolen. Interestingly, 42% said they will avoid buying expensive items online because of this potential risk. 

In order to prevent package theft 50% of the respondents said they would stay home for deliveries, 32% would opt to shop at stores instead, 31% would do in-store pickups, and 26% made a signature required for their deliveries.


As package deliveries rise, so does package theft and the fear of having a package stolen. Most of the concern appears to be in large metro areas where online shopping and technology are a bit ahead of the curve, but the data also show package theft is prevalent across the US. As the online shopping trend continues to rise over the coming years and packages start arriving daily to American homes, it will be increasingly important to find ways to secure these packages.

Look for a rise in effort to protect packages by hiding them from visibility or having them placed in secure delivery boxes like DeliverySafe. Look for the inconvenience of planning around package deliveries to be a major pain point for consumers in the near future.  

Learn More about DeliverySafe

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.