CHARLESTOWN, MA — Online shopping has reached an all-time high due to the coronavirus pandemic as package thieves gear up for the holiday season in Charlestown and across the country.
Each year Boston police warn residents of an uptick in package thefts.
Boston, and Charlestown, is not alone in this.
More than 5.5 million people in the US have experienced a package theft during the past year, according to Finder, a personal finance comparison website, in a study released in November.
About $5.4 billion worth of items were stolen in package thefts from November 2019 to November 2020, the Finder determined. And because December is traditionally a busy month for online shopping, that number is expected to grow by the end of the year.
Overall holiday season sales in 2020 are expected to rise 0.9 percent, with a 36 percent jump in online sales, a study by the research company eMarketer shows.
Who Steals A Package?
Men are found to be more likely to be both package thieves and victims of the crime, according to the Finder study. With 5.29 percent of men admitting having stolen a package compared with 0.85 percent of women, men are more than 500 percent more likely to be package thieves than women, the study found.
Seventeen percent of men say a package of theirs was stolen during the past year, compared with 11 percent for women.
The good news? The vast majority of people, some 86 percent of the nearly 2,000 participants in the study, said they have not had a package stolen since this time last year.
Here are five tips Finder shared to help prevent package thefts:
Try curbside pickup: Drive to the store; most of them offer curbside pickup options.
Use a post office box: This will ensure the package is handled by a professional at the post office.
Video surveillance: Doorbell cameras such as Ring can allow homeowners to scare away the thief in real time.
Require a signature: This way, the package cannot go unattended.
Have it sent to your workplace: Public places typically have a greater chance of using security cameras.