Toronto

With the holidays just days away, here's how to protect your last-minute packages from being stolen

With the holidays approaching, last-minute packages will be arriving on doorsteps over the next week — and experts say it's more important than ever to protect your precious gifts from being snatched off your porch.

Nearly 70% of Ontario shoppers are 'somewhat worried' about package theft, FedEx data shows

porch packages
Nearly 70 per cent of Ontario shoppers are at least 'somewhat worried' about package theft, according to FedEx data. (Mark Lennihan/The Canadian Press/AP)

With the holidays approaching, last-minute packages will be arriving on doorsteps over the next week — and experts say it's more important than ever to protect your precious gifts from being snatched off your porch.

About 69 per cent of Ontario shoppers are at least "somewhat worried" about package theft and 29 per cent of Canadians are more concerned than they've been in the past, according to an online survey conducted by FedEx Express Canada and Angus-Reid. 

"It is our busiest time of the year with Canadians preparing for the holiday season," said James Anderson, spokesperson for FedEx Express Canada.

One in four Canadians, or 22 per cent, of survey respondents reported an online package theft to FedEx Canada. That is up from one in five Canadians one year ago.

Anderson said that figure is a "record high" for the company. The survey collected data from 1,525 Canadians in English and French between Aug. 30 to Sept. 1.

James Anderson, spokesperson for FedEx Express Canada, says December is the 'busiest time of the year' for the delivery company, as Canadians prepare for the holiday season. (Charlie Riedel/The Associated Press)

Anderson said there are some measures people can take to try and prevent porch pirating or having their deliveries stolen from in front of their doors.

"The biggest thing that Canadians can do is track your packages," he told CBC Toronto.

"In this day and age, you should know the day that your package will arrive and if ... you're not going to be home."

Here are some of the ways you can reduce the risk of having your packages stolen this season:

  • Install a security camera.
  • Opt in for notifications on your package to keep up with tracking.
  • Use package redirecting if you will not be home to receive the package. This would redirect your order to a nearby retail location for you to pick up at your convenience.
  • Set delivery instructions and preferences on where to leave the package at your doorstep.
  • Require a photo for proof of delivery.
  • Require a signature upon delivery.

Toronto police suggest residents report package thefts to police rather than only to the seller or the delivery company.

"We highly encourage anyone who is a victim of a theft, especially a porch theft, to please report it to police," said Laura Brabant, spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service.

Brabant said the police's website has an option to report a theft under $5,000 that would get assigned to an investigator.

"The officers who work in those neighbourhoods can determine if there is a crime going on and increase patrols in that neighborhood and that helps us find a pattern when these packages are being stolen."

With files from Sneha Agrawal

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