Porch pirates taking advantage of Cyber Monday shipments


Shoppers spent a record $6.5 billion dollars across the country on Cyber Monday. Many people opting for the free 2-day shipping will expect a package on their front porch sometime today.

So are the criminals.

“I bought a $400 electric skateboard and I came home and it wasn't on the porch,” says Steven Kenworthy who used to live in German Village, a small neighborhood just south of downtown Columbus.

“And I thought, ‘that's kind of strange, it's hard to miss a package that's as big as a human,’”, he adds.

Kenworthy is one of 23 million people who have reported stolen packages from their front porches in the past year, according to the National Safety Council. When he realized his package was gone, Kenworthy turned to NextDoor, a private neighborhood social network.

“Of course you want to see if anyone saw anything,” explains Kenworthy. “I reached out to community, if anyone has seen anything, since this has been an ongoing thing.”

NextDoor says over 40% of its members reported having at least one package stolen from their front porch. 8 out of 10 people would ask a neighbor to look out for a delivery, if they had an easy way to do so.

The US Postal Service suggests shoppers schedule deliveries for when they are home, or ask the USPS to hold deliveries for them. You can also have packages sent to your work.


UPS offers a program called a program called “AccessPoints,” where consignees can pick up their package at a participating small business such as a drug store or convenience store. These stores sign a contract with UPS to offer the free service in hopes of getting more foot traffic in their location. It’s ideal in major metros like Chicago or NYC where urban professionals are rarely home during the day but often walk right past a location on their way to work.

It also offers MyChoicem where people can get alerts telling them when a package is on its way.


Kenworthy says he says despite all the prevention tools and tips, he hopes networks like NextDoor will help people come together in an effort to keep their neighborhoods safer.

“Is there something we can do better as a community instead of just - i hope it's there when I get home?” he asks.