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10 Steps to Take if Your Package Is Stolen

Chris Wilson - Writer for Top10.com
There are certain steps you can take when your package gets stolen from your property.
Just stepped onto your porch to find your package missing? Don't panic—with the right tools and a few critical steps, you can catch porch pirates red-handed, recover stolen items, get compensation, or have your package resent.

With over 20 years of experience in home security systems, I understand the frustration of a stolen package. In 2023, 49 million Americans were victims of porch piracy. Most insurance policies cover stolen deliveries, but getting compensation requires quick, proper action.

I'll use my industry knowledge to provide a 10-step guide on what to do after a high-value theft from your property. You can build a compelling reimbursement case by gathering documents, filing timely claims, and using home security tech.

» Here's how to choose the best home security system to protect your property.

1. Contact the Shipping Company

If you think your package has been stolen, review your purchase confirmation email for a tracking number to monitor its shipping status. Delivery companies often have real-time tracking, which allows for up-to-date notifications on your delivery's location.

If the status shows it was delivered and you can't find it, contact the shipping company (USPS, UPS, FedEx) to file a claim. Provide your contact details, delivery date, tracking number, package contents, value, and supporting documents like receipts and invoices.

Shipping Company
Claim Information

2. Notify the Seller or Retailer

If your package appears stolen, contact the retailer or seller that sold you the item. Retailers have different policies for handling stolen packages. Still, you are typically entitled to a refund or replacement under most policies.

If you purchased the item on Amazon from a third-party Amazon Seller, contact them and attempt to resolve the issue. Suppose you're still waiting for a response after two business days or find the seller uncooperative. In that case, you can file an A-to-Z Guarantee claim

3. Contact Your Neighbors

Ask your neighbors if they saw the delivery or have your package. They may have brought it inside to keep it safe from theft or weather. Neighbors can also help watch for weird activities caught on security cameras and report anything unusual. Leverage your community to help locate missing packages and stay alert to potential thieves.

4. Check Surveillance Footage

A 2023 nationwide survey found that external cameras were listed as the most important security system feature by 32.3% of respondents. If you have a video surveillance system, review the footage to see if you can identify the thief or gather more information about the incident.

Remember that some video systems only store recordings for a specified period before overwriting. Contacting a home security company like ADT or Vivint can help you access and preserve valuable surveillance footage related to the theft.

A man checking his security camera footage after his package was stolen.

5. Document the Theft

Take photos of the area where the package was stolen, any signs of forced entry, and any related damage. Having a home security system like SimpliSafe can assist in providing video footage to document the theft.

This documentation can be useful for insurance claims or investigations. Taking swift action can help the investigation process and increase the chances of recovering your stolen package or receiving compensation through insurance.

Keep detailed records of all your communications and interactions related to the incident. If you need clarification on any specific steps, consider consulting with your home security company, like ADT alternatives, the shipping carrier, or legal professionals, for guidance tailored to your situation.

6. File a Police Report

You should report the theft to your local law enforcement agency. Provide them with as much information as possible, like the tracking number, package contents, and any surveillance footage from your home security cameras. Many police departments allow you to file a police report online.

The specific website will vary based on location. Still, you'll likely find the appropriate place to report your stolen package by searching Google for "[your town/city] online police report."

7. Use Your Credit Card's Purchase Protection Feature

A credit card's purchase protection usually covers theft and damage to a physical item within a set time after you bought it. To make a claim, you must have purchased the item with the credit card you are filing with. You can check the website to see if you have this coverage.

Remember that some credit card companies don't cover high-value items (typically over $500 to $1,000). You may need to file a police report before they refund you. Purchase protection often only covers you after using your primary insurance, like homeowners' or renters' insurance.

8. Check Your Insurance Coverage

The amount your home or renter's insurance company pays for stolen packages depends on your policy and provider. Typically, there are coverage limits:

  • Coverage cap: Your policy likely has a maximum total payout for all stolen possessions. If you reach this cap, no further coverage is available.
  • Category limits: Your insurance may cap coverage for high-value items like electronics or jewelry, even if the total cap isn't met.
  • Deductible: The amount you pay out-of-pocket on a claim before insurance coverage starts. If your loss is less than your deductible, your insurance does not pay.
  • Valuation basis: Payouts may be based on items' depreciated actual cash value or current replacement cost.
A man and a woman checking their insurance policy after their package was stolen.

How Can Insurance Help Recover High-Value Packages?

When a high-value item is stolen from your property, insurance providers can play a vital role in mitigating the impact of the theft. Here's how:

  • Insurance can provide financial compensation if you have the right coverage if a high-value package is stolen from your doorstep.
  • Many policies specifically cover theft from a property. Check if this risk is covered by your provider. 
  • File a police report promptly as proof of loss. This is usually required to submit a theft claim.
  • Know your deductible and coverage limits, which determine the compensation amount. Ensure limits cover high-value items.
  • Insurers may offer discounted premiums if you use preventative measures like security cameras and secure delivery.
  • For precious items, specialized policies with comprehensive coverage may be available.
  • Insurance companies tend to prioritize and respond rapidly to claims for high-value thefts.

» Understand the difference between home warranty vs home home insurance.

9. Monitor for Suspicious Activity

Keep an eye on your financial accounts and personal information. Stolen packages may be part of larger identity theft schemes. If so, consider contacting a trusted identity theft protection service to assist you. 

If you've noticed unfamiliar people on the street or strange cars parked on corners—these could be signs your house has been marked by robbers for future theft. If you see this suspicious activity in your neighborhood, the police may be more likely to investigate. 

10. Consider Prevention Measures Against Porch Piracy

According to a recent survey, 49% of consumers worry that their online orders may get stolen from their doorstep. To protect your packages from porch pirates, consider implementing the following these measures:

  • Install security cameras: Set up cameras around your property to deter thieves and capture any incidents of theft. 
  • Use secure delivery options: Choose delivery lockers or require signature confirmation for your packages to reduce the risk of them being stolen.
  • Invest in shipping insurance: For high-value items like electronics, consider purchasing shipping insurance through the vendor or delivery service.
  • Home monitoring system: Install a system like Cove for 24/7 monitoring and remote access. This is an excellent way to protect your home while you're on vacation
  • Arrange for alternate delivery locations: Have your packages delivered to your workplace or a trusted neighbor's house, especially if you know you won't be home.
A man documenting evidence to file a claim for a stolen package.

Outsmart Porch Pirates, Stop Package Theft

Stolen online orders are a growing problem that can leave you missing your much-anticipated packages. Remember to take preventative measures like tracking all deliveries so you know when they arrive. Also, review your homeowner’s insurance to confirm coverage for stolen items. 

You can deter thieves and capture evidence by installing home security systems. With doorbell cameras and real-time mobile alerts—you can guard against package theft and get your long-awaited packages.

» Check out this complete guide to home security costs for every budget.

Chris Wilson - Writer for Top10.com
Chris Wilson contributes to Top10.com as a CSPM with over 23 years of experience in the North American security market. His expertise includes system design, project management, and solutions engineering. Chris has written for SDM and Locksmith Ledger and co-published various blogs within the security industry.