One out of three online shoppers in Canada say they have had a package stolen off their doorstep, according to a recent survey by delivery service company FedEx.
Mississauga resident Dennis Santos said he recently had a package stolen from in front of his home. His video doorbell system showed the package delivered by a courier company, but not long after, it was snatched by someone carrying a snow scraper and wearing a mask.
“These thieves are grabbing packages even while we are in a lockdown. People have switched to online shopping and they are expecting packages at home," Santos said.
Another CTV News Toronto viewer sent in security video showing someone taking a package of his doorstep that contained a $400 winter coat. The person knocked on his door, spent time checking out the package and then left, only to return minutes later and grab it.
Porch piracy has become a costly problem for retailers and the courier industry. Video door bells and security cameras can help but don't stop the thefts.
Experts say there are delivery pods people can buy that a courier can open to lock a delivery inside to make sure it’s secure. To prevent porch pirates taking packages, people can also ship them to a trusted friend, neighbour or their work address.
People can also request a signature on delivery or opt for in-store or curbside pickup.
Santos said Amazon reimbursed him for the stolen package. He said he will continue to shop online but take extra precautions.
“I'm going to be more cautious now to make sure someone doesn't grab them, or I will put a bin on the porch so that they can be placed inside where they are not visible to people walking or driving by,” he said.
Experts say that if your package has been stolen, contact the retailer that sold it to you. Different stores will have different policies, but if you never received the item you should be entitled to a full refund or a replacement.