How to Prevent Package Theft At Your Apartment Building

How to prevent packages from getting stolen from apartment lobby?

Imagine this: you’ve been eagerly waiting for that online purchase to arrive, only to find out your package stolen from apartment lobby! Frustrating, right? But fear not, for we have the perfect solution to both prevent package theft and those pesky front porch pirates from plundering your precious parcels. In this article, we will delve into the growing concern of package theft, highlighting the importance of finding effective solutions to thwart these front porch pirates. We will also explore a range of comprehensive strategies for preventing package theft in apartment complexes, ensuring that your cherished deliveries reach their rightful owners.

Key Takeaways

  • Secure your deliveries from porch pirates with access control systems, security cameras and package lockers.
  • Report theft to the police & contact sender/retailer for help. Notify landlord or property manager too!
  • By employing a combination of these diverse strategies, you can drastically decrease the likelihood of package theft, guaranteeing the secure delivery and arrival of your online purchases.

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Understanding Package Theft Statistics

Package Theft Statistics - A Survey by C+R Research; Image Credit: C+R Research
Package Theft Statistics – A Survey by C+R Research; Image Credit: C+R Research

Package theft and other would be porch pirates have become a growing concern for both residents and property managers in apartment buildings, thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of e-commerce. According to a survey conducted by C+R Research in 2022, almost 1 in 7 (14%) Americans have fallen victim to these would be porch pirates – some more than once. Most (67%) have had one package stolen, 22% have had two, and 11% have had three or more stolen packages.

Factors Contributing to Package Theft

Convenience of online shopping has led to an upsurge in package theft.
Convenience of online shopping has led to an upsurge in package theft.
  1. High online shopping rates: According to a recent survey conducted by Tidio, the number and value of online sales are on an upward trajectory. In fact, in 2024 global e-commerce sales will likely surpass $7 trillion in value. The convenience of online shopping has led to a surge in package deliveries. Apartment lobbies are particularly vulnerable as they often lack the robust security measures of single-family homes.
  2. Lack of security measures: Many apartment complexes lack the necessary security infrastructure to deter thieves, leaving packages exposed and unguarded.
  3. Limited surveillance: Inadequate surveillance systems in apartment buildings and lobbies provide thieves with anonymity and an opportunity to strike unnoticed.
  4. Limited installation of video intercoms, package lockers and other security devices: Did you know that according to a recent survey by Business Research Insights, 34% of burglars enter through the front door, as seeing someone enter a home through front door seldom raises any suspicion? Now, do you agree how important it is to secure your houses with video intercoms and other security devices available in the market? However, even today, many apartment complexes are still lagging behind in implementing advanced security devices like video intercoms and package lockers.

The Impact of Package Theft on Residents and Property Managers: A Deeper Look

Package theft is more than just a simple inconvenience; it’s a violation that can significantly impact the overall sense of security within an apartment complex. For residents, the theft of a package can lead to feelings of violation and mistrust. It’s not just the loss of the item itself, but also the unsettling knowledge that a stranger has taken something that wasn’t meant for them. This can lead to anxiety and discomfort, especially if the stolen item was of significant personal or financial value.

For property managers, package theft can also present a number of challenges. They may face pressure from residents to improve security measures in the building, which can be a significant financial investment. Additionally, if package theft becomes a common occurrence, it could damage the building’s reputation, making it harder to attract and retain residents. Therefore, it’s in the best interest of both residents and property managers to work together to prevent package theft and ensure the safety and security of all deliveries.

Here are 11 Immediate Actions to Take if Your Package is Stolen

Take immediate actions to prevent and control package theft.
Take immediate actions to prevent and control package theft.

If you find out your package has been pilfered, there are immediate actions you can undertake to possibly retrieve your lost packages or stolen goods and prevent future thefts.

1. Verify Delivery Status: Before jumping to conclusions, it’s crucial to first ensure that your package was indeed delivered. There could be a delay or mix-up with the shipping. Check the tracking information provided by the delivery services like FedEx, DHL, Amazon, DoorDash, USPS, DHL, and BlueDart. This will give you a clear picture of where your package is in the delivery process. If the tracking information says that the package was delivered but you haven’t received it, then it’s possible that the package was stolen. In such cases, proceed with the subsequent steps to report and hopefully recover your stolen package.

2. Claim Renter’s Insurance: This is an important step to consider if your package is stolen. Renter’s insurance policies often cover personal belongings, which may include items delivered to you but stolen before you could retrieve them. It’s essential to check the specifics of your policy, as there may be limits or deductions that apply. If your policy covers theft, you can file a claim for the value of the stolen goods. Keep in mind that you’ll need to provide evidence of prevent theft, such as a receipt of the stolen item and a police report. It’s always a good idea to contact your insurance company promptly after discovering the theft to get the claims process started. You can check some of the best renter’s insurance companies here.

3. Contact the Delivery Service: After confirming that your package has indeed been stolen, it’s crucial to get in touch with the delivery service. They may be able to provide further details about the delivery, such as the exact time it was dropped off and who was responsible for the delivery. They may also have policies in place to assist customers who have had their deliveries or packages stolen. For instance, some delivery services may offer compensation or assist in tracking down the stolen package. Remember to have your address and tracking number on hand when you contact them, as this will make it easier for them to find your delivery details in their system.

4. Check with Neighbors: Before assuming the worst, it’s always a good idea to check with your neighbors. There’s a chance that a well-meaning neighbor may have picked up your package for safekeeping. Alternatively, your delivery person might have left your package with a neighbor if you weren’t home at the time of delivery. So, knock on a few doors or send out a group text or email to your neighbors to see if they have any information about your missing package. It’s always a good idea to maintain good relationships with your neighbors for moments like these. Not only can they help keep an eye on your home when you’re away, but they can also be an invaluable resource in situations like these.

5. Check Credit Card Reimbursement: In the unfortunate event that your package is stolen, it’s worth checking if your credit card company offers any form of reimbursement for stolen goods. Some companies have policies in place that protect their customers against theft, providing a form of insurance for your purchases. If the item that was stolen was purchased with a credit card, you might be eligible for a refund or credit from your card issuer. However, this largely depends on the terms and conditions of the purchase and your credit card agreement, so it’s crucial to read the fine print or contact your card issuer to understand your coverage. Additionally, remember to keep all receipts and records of your purchases as they may be required when making a claim.

6. Contact the Retailer: Once you are sure that your package has been stolen, it’s crucial to reach out to the retailer from where you made your purchase. Explain the situation and provide them with any evidence you may have, such as surveillance footage or a police report. Many retailers have policies in place to assist customers who have fallen victim to package theft. Depending on the retailer’s policy, they may offer to resend the item, provide a refund, or give store credit. However, it’s important to note that not all retailers may be able to offer these solutions, especially if the item you purchased was limited edition or out of stock. It’s always worth reaching out to the retailer as your first step in resolving this unfortunate situation.

7. Review Security Footage: After realizing that your package has been stolen, it’s crucial to review any security footage you might have. If your apartment complex has security cameras installed, request access to the footage from the time your package was supposed to be delivered. Look for any suspicious individuals or activities that took place during that time. Security footage can provide valuable evidence in identifying the thief. It can also be used to support your claim if you decide to report the theft to the police or the delivery service. Furthermore, if your apartment building itself lacks security cameras, this unfortunate event might serve as a catalyst for a conversation with your property manager about the need for such security measures.

8. File a Police Report: If you’re certain that your package has been stolen, it’s crucial to file a police report. This step is not just about recovering your stolen item, but also about contributing to the broader effort to combat package theft. By reporting the theft, you’re providing valuable data that law enforcement agencies can use to understand patterns and hotspots of criminal activity, which in turn can inform their strategies for preventing package theft. To file a report, contact your local law enforcement agency and provide as much information as you can about the theft, including the time and location, the tracking information and carrier, the contents of the package, and any potential witnesses or surveillance footage. Remember, even if your stolen package is not recovered, your report could help prevent future thefts and make your community safer.

9. Inform the Apartment Management and Discuss Potential Security Improvements: When you discover that your package has been stolen, it’s essential to inform your apartment management as soon as possible. They can help to investigate the incident, check any existing security footage, and notify other residents to be on the lookout for suspicious activity. It’s also a good opportunity to discuss potential security improvements. This could include things like installing more security cameras, implementing a secure package delivery system, or installing a video intercom system. By working together with your apartment management, you can take proactive steps to prevent future package thefts.

10. Update Delivery Instructions: This step involves making sure that your delivery instructions are clear and precise. This could involve specifying a safe location for the delivery person to leave your packages. For example, you might instruct them to leave your packages behind a planter or under a porch chair. If your apartment complex has a secure mailroom or locker system, make sure to include instructions for using it. You can also request that the delivery person knock or ring the doorbell to alert you of the delivery. Remember, the more specific your instructions, the easier it will be for the delivery person to securely deliver your package.

11. Monitor for Identity Theft: After a package theft, especially if it contains sensitive information or personal items, there’s a risk of identity theft. Thieves might use your personal information for fraudulent activities. It’s crucial to monitor your bank statements and credit reports for any unusual activity. If you notice anything suspicious, report it to your bank or credit card company immediately. Also, consider changing your passwords and updating your security questions to further protect your accounts. It’s a good idea to use identity theft protection services that can detect suspicious activity and alert you promptly. This step might seem excessive, but it’s better to be safe than sorry when dealing with potential identity theft.

Securing Your Apartment Lobby Against Package Theft

Here are some ways to secure your apartment lobby against package theft.
Here are some ways to secure your apartment lobby against package theft.

In order to safeguard your apartment lobby from package theft and ensure the security of your deliveries, there are several strategies you can put into action. These include:

  1. Technology-Driven Solutions such as Video Intercom Systems, Intelligent Package Lockers, Video Surveillance Systems, and Electronic Access Control
  2. Involvement of Community and Management such as Neighborhood Watch Initiatives, Resident Awareness Programs, and Collaboration with Management
  3. Secure Delivery Alternatives like Delivery Lockboxes and Concierge or Mailroom Services
  4. Physical Security Enhancements like Strengthening Packaging Areas and Mailroom Redesign
  5. Legal and Law Enforcement Cooperation such as Reporting & Documentation and Collaboration with Law Enforcement Agencies
  6. Alternate Delivery Options to Safeguard Your Package such as Parcel Locker Services, Signature Required Delivery, and Delivery to a Different Location

Technological Solutions

A. Video Intercom Systems

Modern video intercom systems come with several smart features.
Modern video intercom systems come with several smart features.

How they work: Video Intercom Systems are a cutting-edge solution that combine convenience and security, making them a popular choice for many apartment complexes. These systems allow residents to visually confirm the identity of a delivery person before granting them access to the building, ensuring that only authorized individuals gain entry. This reduces the risk of package theft by making it harder for potential thieves to gain access to the lobby.

Benefits of implementing video intercom systems:

a. Facial Recognition for Access: Modern video intercom systems offer quick, one-second unlock feature that works within a 3-foot distance and accommodates a wide range of heights. For enhanced security, facial recognition systems also come with unique two-factor authentication, combining facial recognition with mobile access, particularly for high-security doors.

b. Unlocking Through Mobile App: Doors can be unlocked from anywhere with mobile app that come with the video intercom systems. This feature allows for remote unlocking via cellular connectivity and works within a 20-foot radius for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). It ensures a secure, encrypted handshake between our video intercom systems and your mobile app.

c. Integrated Two-Way Video Intercom System: Video intercom systems, nowadays, are equipped with an integrated video intercom system for efficient visitor management and supports multi-tenant video intercom. This eliminates the need for substantial capital expenditure on setting up separate systems for access control and visitor management.

d. Security with PIN Access: Lastly, one of the most unique feature of some of the video intercom systems available in the market come with single-use, temporary PINs for secure package deliveries and visitor access. You can create unique PINs and send them via text, app, or email for added convenience and security.

B. Smart Package Lockers

Smart package lockers are revolutionizing the way we receive packages delivered. Here’s how they work:

How they work: Couriers place packages in lockers, and residents receive a unique code or smartphone notification to access their deliveries.

Benefits of implementing lockers:

a. Secure storage: Lockers provide a secure and tamper-proof environment for packages.

b. Notification systems: Residents are instantly alerted when a package arrives, reducing the time packages spend unattended.

c. Controlled access: Only the intended recipient or carrier can retrieve their package, enhancing security.

Integration with resident apps and online shopping platforms: Many smart lockers can be integrated with resident apps and popular online shopping platforms, streamlining the delivery process.

C. Video Surveillance Systems

1. Installation of high-quality cameras: Installing high-resolution cameras with wide-angle lenses ensures optimal coverage and clearer images.

2. Placement for optimal coverage: Strategically positioning cameras in apartment lobbies and common areas deters potential thieves and helps identify culprits.

3. Real-time monitoring and recording: Real-time monitoring and recording of surveillance footage provide invaluable evidence in case of theft.

4. Deterrent effect on potential thieves: Visible cameras act as a deterrent, dissuading thieves from targeting your lobby.

D. Electronic Access Systems

Electronic access systems have become smarter and more convenient for everyday use.
Electronic access systems have become smarter and more convenient for everyday use.

1. Keyless entry systems: Implementing keyless entry systems ensures that only authorized residents and personnel can access the lobby. These systems can be integrated with mobile apps, allowing residents to unlock doors using their smartphones, providing an additional layer of security and convenience.

2. Restricted access for non-residents: Limiting access to residents and approved visitors reduces the potential for unauthorized entry. This can be achieved by using guest pass codes or biometric scans, ensuring that only those with granted access can enter the premises.

3. Monitoring and tracking entry logs: Keeping a digital log of who enters and exits the lobby enhances security and accountability. These logs can be reviewed in case of a theft or any other security incident, providing valuable information for investigations.

4. Remote access control by residents: Residents can grant entry remotely, ensuring packages are only delivered when they’re ready to receive them. This can be achieved through smart home systems, which allow residents to control access to their homes from anywhere, offering peace of mind and greater control over their deliveries.

Community and Management Involvement

Involve the neighborhood to keep your apartment safe and secure.
Involve the neighborhood to keep your apartment safe and secure.

A. Neighborhood Watch Programs

1. Forming resident-led groups: Establish neighborhood watch programs to encourage vigilant residents and foster a sense of security expert in the community.

2. Regular communication and updates: Maintain open lines of communication among residents to share information about suspicious activity.

3. Surveillance cooperation: Encourage residents to share surveillance footage with neighbors, each other and law enforcement when necessary.

B. Resident Education

1. Raising awareness about the issue: Educate residents about the prevalence of package theft and its potential consequences.

2. Providing tips for safe package shipping and delivery: Offer guidance on safe delivery practices, such as requesting signature confirmation on shipping, or using package lockers.

3. Encouraging vigilance and reporting suspicious activity: Encourage residents to report anything unusual to apartment management or the police.

Secure Delivery Options

A. Delivery Lockboxes

1. Design and installation: Secure lockboxes installed near apartment entrances provide a safe location for deliveries.

2. One-time use codes: Lockboxes can be equipped with one-time use codes, ensuring only the intended recipient can access their package.

3. Protection against weather and theft: Lockboxes protect your box and packages from the elements and prying eyes.

B. Concierge or Mailroom Services

1. Centralized package collection: A central mailroom or concierge service can receive and secure packages delivered on behalf of residents.

2. Verification of recipients: Staff can verify recipients before releasing packages, reducing the risk of theft.

3. Tracking mail, and notification system: The mailroom can provide residents with notifications when mail or packages arrive.

Physical Security Measures

Upgrade your package rooms to make your parcels safe from frequent thefts.
Upgrade your package rooms to make your parcels safe from frequent thefts.

A. Reinforced Packaging Areas

1. Lockable storage units: Installing lockable storage units in the lobby allows residents to secure their packages. These units can be custom-made to fit the aesthetic of the building or lobby, providing a seamless integration of security and style. The units are designed to accommodate packages of different sizes, ensuring that all deliveries, regardless of their size, can be safely stored until their rightful owners come to the door to collect them.

2. Surveillance coverage: Ensure these storage building areas are covered by surveillance cameras. These cameras should be strategically placed to capture clear footage of the storage units and the surrounding area. This not only deters potential thieves but also provides valuable evidence in case of a theft. The surveillance system should be monitored in real-time and recorded for future reference.

3. Dedicated space for shipping packages: Designate a specific area on front desk for package storage, keeping them organized and secure. This area should be clearly marked and easily accessible to couriers for package drop-off. It should also be under constant surveillance and in a well-lit area to deter potential thieves. This dedicated space for package room not only keeps the packages safe but also helps maintain the cleanliness and organization of the office and the lobby, providing a pleasant environment for all residents.

B. Mailroom Restructuring

1. Design to minimize access points: Restructure the mailroom to reduce points of entry, making it harder for thieves to gain access.

2. Use of system of access barriers like turnstiles or keycards: Implement access control measures to restrict entry to authorized personnel.

3. Secure storage shelves: Use secure shelving units to store packages, with access limited to staff.

A. Reporting and Documentation

1. Promote reporting of theft incidents: Encourage those affected by package theft to promptly report the incident to law enforcement, establishing a record of the event.

2. Assist law enforcement with evidence: Provide any available evidence such as surveillance footage, witness accounts, etc. to law enforcement to aid in their investigations.

B. Cooperation with Authorities

1. Collaboration with law enforcement: Work with local authorities by providing any available surveillance footage that could help identify potential thieves.

2. Reporting suspicious individuals: If you notice any suspicious individuals or unusual activities in your area, share this information with the relevant authorities.

3. Joint efforts to catch thieves: Work hand-in-hand with law enforcement agencies to apprehend and bring to justice those responsible for package theft.

Alternative Delivery Options to Protect Your Packages

Here are some alternative methods to keep your packages safe and sound.
Here are some alternative methods to keep your packages safe and sound.

Aside from fortifying your apartment door and lobby, you can opt for several alternative delivery methods to safeguard your packages and deter theft. These include:

  • Availing of parcel locker services like Amazon Hub Lockers
  • Asking for delivery to a different location such as your office
  • Requiring a signature upon delivery

By choosing one or more of these alternative delivery options from a trusted delivery company, you can further lessen the chances of package theft and guarantee the safe arrival of your deliveries.

A. Use parcel locker services

Parcel locker services offer a secure and convenient way to receive your packages without the risk of theft. When a package is delivered to a package locker, you’ll receive a notification with a unique code or QR code that can be used to unlock the package locker and retrieve your package.

This not only ensures that your package is stored securely, but also allows you to collect it at a time that’s convenient for you, without having to worry about it being left unattended in your apartment lobby.

B. Request delivery to an alternate location

Another effective way to protect your packages from theft is to request delivery to an alternate location, such as your workplace, a trusted neighbor’s home, or a post office box. This reduces the risk of your package being left unattended in your apartment lobby, making it more difficult for thieves to gain access and steal your items.

Simply provide the alternate delivery address when placing your order, and be sure to inform the recipient of the other address and upcoming delivery to ensure a smooth handover.

C. Require signature confirmation

Requiring signature confirmation for your deliveries is another great way to prevent package theft. This ensures that your package is not left unattended in the apartment lobby, as it can only be handed over to the intended recipient upon providing a valid signature.

Most delivery services, including the postal service, such as USPS, UPS, FedEx, and your local post office, offer this same sign on option for a small additional sign on fee and accept all packages delivered with this added security measure sign on, ensuring a delivery person is responsible for the box and handover.

While it may be slightly less convenient, as you’ll need to be available to sign for the mail delivery, the added security is well worth the extra effort.

Why Choose Swiftlane to Secure your Packages?

Why choose Swiftlane to secure your beloved pacakages?
Why choose Swiftlane to secure your beloved pacakages?

Swiftlane’s security solutions have already been adopted by over 1000 buildings across 40+ states in the USA, with 10 million door unlocks every year. This impressive reach is a testament to the effectiveness and reliability of Swiftlane’s security systems in preventing package theft and securing apartment building lobbies.

Swiftlane’s systems are designed with the user in mind, focusing on ease of use without compromising on security. With a user-friendly interface, building residents can easily manage their access settings, while property managers have a comprehensive overview of the building’s security in real-time.

By working with over 150 installation partner companies, Swiftlane install and ensures a smooth and hassle-free installation process, providing comprehensive security solutions for apartment buildings, apartments and communities across the country. These partnerships ensure that Swiftlane’s systems are installed correctly and function as intended, providing peace of mind for residents and property managers alike.

Swiftlane makes security hassle-free.
Swiftlane makes security hassle-free.

Features of Swiftlane Security Systems

Swiftlane Security Systems offer an integrated approach to securing your apartment building, including:

  • Access control with facial recognition: Swiftlane’s advanced facial recognition technology allows for quick and secure access to the building. This feature not only enhances security by ensuring only authorized individuals gain entry, but also offers convenience as residents no longer need to carry physical keys or cards.
  • Cloud-based and mobile solutions: With Swiftlane’s cloud-based system, residents can manage their access settings from anywhere, anytime. This flexibility is especially useful for residents who travel frequently or for property managers managing multiple properties.
  • Package management systems: Swiftlane’s package management systems provide a secure solution for receiving packages. With these systems, packages are stored securely and can only be accessed by the intended recipient, significantly reducing the risk of package theft.
  • Touchless unlock systems: In the times of health concerns, Swiftlane’s touchless unlock systems provide a safe and hygienic way to access the building. By simply using their mobile device, residents can unlock doors without the need to touch any surfaces.

These features work together to provide a seamless and secure experience for residents, while also making it more difficult for package thieves to gain access to the building and steal deliveries.

With Swiftlane Security Systems installed, you can be confident that your packages and apartments are well-guarded and your apartment door and lobby door maintains a safe and a secure place free of ambiance.

Let’s Wrap Up

To wrap things up, the rising problem of package theft in our apartment buildings’ lobbies calls for a comprehensive solution. By integrating technological advancements, fostering community involvement, implementing secure delivery alternatives, enhancing physical security measures, and collaborating with law enforcement, we can drastically decrease the incidents of package theft. It’s high time we took proactive measures to prevent package theft and ensure that your eagerly awaited deliveries reach you safely, instead of falling into the hands of opportunistic package thieves. Together, we can fortify our apartment communities and safeguard our valuable packages.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do if a neighbor steals your package?

If a neighbor steals your package, file a police report and contact the sender. Then report the theft to the relevant shipping company: Amazon, FedEx, UPS or USPS. Lastly, prevent future theft and stealing packages by taking security measures.

Who is responsible for packages stolen from porch?

Ultimately, when it comes to packages or stolen packages from the delivery carriers on your front door or porch, you are responsible for them. However, depending on the company, they may offer assistance in certain cases.

Why do so many packages get stolen?

Package theft has become an unfortunate holiday tradition, due to the volume of packages and the possible value of their contents. The idea of easily-resellable items, combined with a thrill-seeking mentality of some people, has only exacerbated this increasingly common crime.

What are some ways to prevent package theft in apartment lobbies?

Protect your packages and apartments from thieves by installing access control systems, security cameras and creating a secure package room and locker system in the package room or your apartment lobby. Keep those parcels safe!

How can I ensure my deliveries are secure if I’m not home to receive them?

Secure your deliveries by taking advantage of parcel locker services, requesting alternate delivery locations or requiring signature confirmation when you can’t be there to receive them. Parcel locker services provide a secure way to receive your deliveries without having to be present. You can request alternate delivery locations, such as a neighbor’s house or a nearby store, to ensure your packages are delivered safely.

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