What to Do if a Package Is Stolen: 4 Steps to Take

What to Do if a Package Is Stolen: 4 Steps to Take

You ordered something and can’t wait for it to arrive. Shortly after lunch, you get a notification on your phone—it’s here! Maybe you even sneak out a few minutes early so you can get home to hold it in your hands. 

You pull into the driveway and step onto your front porch, but where is it? You check behind the plant, but you’re just going through the motions. It’s not there. 

Now what? Let’s explore what to do if a package is stolen, who is responsible for stolen packages, the next steps to take, and how to prevent this from happening in the future. 

Who’s Responsible for Stolen Packages?

Unfortunately, the buyer is responsible for packages once they’ve been delivered; the seller is obligated to get the package to you, but it’s out of their hands once it’s reached its destination. If you reach out and ask, there’s a chance that the retailer will step up and replace your purchase. Your continued patronage may be worth the financial loss, especially for a large retailer who can take the hit, but they aren’t legally compelled to do so. 

4 Steps You Can Take When Your Package Is Stolen

Since the retailer isn’t obligated to compensate you or send you a replacement, it comes down to you to try to make things right. Here are the steps to take if your package is stolen.

1. Check for a Photo of the Delivery

In the age of stolen packages, many delivery companies have their drivers snap a photo as proof of delivery. After all, the retailer is responsible for getting the package to your home, so they want to document that they did their job. Check your text messages or the retailer’s app to see if they’ve provided that photo. 

The photo may reveal that they delivered the package to the wrong address. If a house number is visible, you can track it down yourself, especially if it accidentally went to a neighbor. Otherwise, you’ll have the evidence you need to ask the seller to replace or refund your purchase. 

2. Contact the Retailer

Regardless of the photo evidence, you’ll want to contact the retailer. Let them know that the package wasn’t waiting for you after delivery and give them the chance to respond. Maybe they’ll offer to replace or refund the item for the sake of customer service. You’ll never know if you don’t ask.

3. Contact the Shipping Company

If you don’t get anywhere with the seller, reach out to the company that handled the delivery to see what they say. Ensure you have the tracking number when you call to help this process go more smoothly. There may have been insurance on the delivery that can kick in, or if they delivered it to the wrong spot, the shipping company may have more insight to provide. 

Prominent shipping companies often have a claims process that may apply to stolen packages. See their websites for more information:

4. File a Police Report

Your next step should be to call your local police department’s non-emergency number or find a form on their website to report the theft. After all, we’re talking about a crime. Make sure you get a copy of the police report, which you may need as you follow up with the seller or the shipping company. 

Different precincts won’t necessarily have the same procedures, so you’ll have to reach out to discover the specific steps to take here.

How to Prevent Future Package Theft

Nobody likes to feel like a victim—and it can be deeply unsettling to have something stolen from your property. Whether you can track down the package or get it replaced, there are some steps you can take to deter thieves in the future.

1. Receive Deliveries at Work

Workplace delivery isn’t an option for everyone; it only works for deliveries you can arrange during the workday. However, if you can make this work, there’s no way to swipe a package from your front porch if it comes directly to you.

2. Deliver to a Retail Location

As package theft becomes more common, many online retailers have begun offering delivery to local stores that hold the package until you can come and pick it up. If they have physical locations in addition to a website, you can probably arrange delivery to one of those. If not, they may have deals with other stores to hold customer packages. It’s less convenient than shipping it directly to your home but more secure.

3. Invest in a Locked Mailbox

You can have mail and small packages delivered securely with a locked mailbox. The postal worker or delivery driver slips the mail through the slot, which slides into a locked receptacle accessible with a key. 

You can also purchase a larger container that sits on your front porch and serves the same purpose. Some operate the same way as a mail drop box that can accommodate small-to-medium packages; some are accessible with a code you can provide to the delivery driver.

Protect Your Packages with Post & Porch

Mail and package theft is frustrating. Post & Porch offers solutions that enable you to preserve your home’s curb appeal while deterring thieves. Our mailbox lock is compatible with our popular post-mounted mailboxes, and a locking wall-mounted mailbox is one option with our selection of planters.

You can have security without sacrificing aesthetics. Post & Porch can help. Make a great first impression by shopping our home exterior design products today.

Share Tweet Pin it
Back to blog