More people than ever before are purchasing retail items online versus conventional retailers. In 2018 alone, online retailers saw a 15% increase in online sales over the previous year, and online transactions now account for 14.3% of total retail sales in the United States. New trends in technology, of course, encourage new trends in crime, and the rise of the online marketplace is no exception to this phenomenon. Cases of so-called porch piracy are on the rise and are only expected to grow in frequency with the projected future growth of online retails sales–which is one of the many reasons smart video doorbells such as the Skybell are becoming critical components of a complete home security package.
What is a porch pirate?
“Porch pirate” is the term for an individual who steals packages from someone’s front steps, porch, or yard when they are not paying attention. Because packages are delivered daily at a higher volume than ever before, the number of potential “marks” available to a porch pirate have grown exponentially in the last decade. In fact, 30% of Americans have already experienced the theft of a delivered package.
Compounding the issue is the fact that those Americans who buy most of their goods online will purchase high-value goods for delivery, too. Each stolen package costs approximately $140, and because thieves often strike when no one is home, the recovery rate for these goods is incredibly low. In fact, police typically solve less than 10% of cases.
Summer is a prime time for porch pirates to strike. Beach days and long vacations keep people out of their houses longer, leaving their packages sitting out alone for greater spans of time.
Fighting porch piracy with smart doorbells
Technology can be used to great effect in the fight against package theft. In San Francisco, a gentleman caught the perpetrator of such an incidence within 24 hours of the event by using camera footage from his smart video doorbell. A smart video doorbell is a great addition to any home security system because of the wealth of features they include. EPS Security offers the Skybell smart video doorbell, which includes the following features:
- Video feed. Burglars often ring the doorbell to see if anyone is home before breaking in. The Skybell will open a high definition, 1080p resolution, video feed between the guest and the owner of the house via the owner’s smartphone.
- Motion detection. This is the greatest deterrent against porch pirates. The Skybell’s sensor will send an alert to the owner of the house if it detects any motion. Additionally, a Skybell will start streaming a video directly to your phone if it senses someone has been standing in front of the device for more than a few seconds—perfect for nabbing a high-quality shot of the perpetrator.
- Full color night vision. If you’re out of town and a package is waiting on your doorstep, a thief might find the late night hours as the opportune time to make their move. Skybell has full color night vision, meaning your porch is under surveillance at all hours of the night.
- Two-way communication. Are you at the beach but want to speak to someone on your porch? The Skybell can be used to communicate with any guests—wanted or unwanted—simply by using the iOS or Android application on your smartphone. It’s also a great way to communicate to the delivery guy if you’re quick enough to react to their delivery.
- Integration with Total Connect. The Skybell easily integrates with EPS Security’s existing smart home devices, which makes securing your packages a breeze.
Keep your packages—and property–safe
Even if you’re one of the diminishing number of Americans who have not yet had a package stolen, it’s better to be prepared than regretful. The Skybell video doorbell is incredibly affordable, and EPS Security’s technicians are well-trained at installing and servicing Skybell devices, as well as integrating them with existing EPS residential systems. Our Security Consultants are well-versed in their capabilities and the options available to you. Don’t hesitate until it’s too late—contact EPS Security and stop porch pirates in their tracks.