prevent porch pirates


Key takeaways

  • Porch piracy is a crime that constantly plagues the residents of multifamily buildings.
  • Because online deliveries have exploded in popularity, more buildings stand out as potential targets for porch pirates.
  • As a property manager, you can take various steps to prevent porch pirates from targeting your residents. For example, you might invest in package lockers or leave instructions for couriers.
  • However, the most efficient porch pirate solution is a ButterflyMX package room that uses mobile credentials and wide-angle security cameras.


Dealing with porch pirates is a major concern for both residents and property managers. Every day, 1.7 million packages are stolen or lost in the United States, and in 2021, the total amount that porch pirates stole was 5.4 billion dollars.

You might have heard some stories on the internet about some of the elaborate ways that residents are protecting their packages from porch pirates. And while homemade porch pirate traps that result in an explosion of confetti might startle an unsuspecting thief and make for a great viral video, you’ll get a lot more utility out of a permanent solution that prevents package theft, even when there’s nobody there to physically stand guard.

In this post, we explain what porch pirates are and how to stop porch pirates as a property manager. Then, we cover the best way to secure packages at your property.

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package room cta


What is a porch pirate?

A porch pirate is a type of thief that targets unattended packages left on a front doorstep or a porch.

Throughout human history, we’ve always had to deal with thieves. However, the rise of online shopping and orders delivered right to your doorstep means that residents have to deal with the threat of thieves on a regular basis.


Are porch pirates still a thing?

Unfortunately, yes. Porch pirates are still very much a thing. In fact, package theft is more common than ever before.


How common are porch pirates?

Porch piracy is a serious problem that plagues residents — and property managers — around the country. In fact, one out of every three Americans has been the victim of porch pirates.

Without a doubt, stolen packages are a common problem — but there are steps you can take as a property manager to reduce or even eliminate package theft in your building.


What do porch pirates look for?

Porch pirates look for unattended packages that can be easily stolen.

Some easy targets for porch pirates include:

  • Packages left outside on a stoop or propped outside the door.
  • A package inside an unlocked lobby area.
  • Packages out of the sight of guards or front desk staff.


What percentage of porch pirates get caught?

Some reports indicate that less than 10% of porch pirates are caught.  However, a security system with a camera might improve these odds.


How do I get rid of porch pirates?

Installing a package room is the best way to secure packages and deter porch pirates.

The methods we’ve outlined above can all protect your residents’ packages. But most of them aren’t perfect.

Additionally, telling your residents to leave instructions for couriers might result in residents forgetting to do so or couriers ignoring instructions. Moreover, installing package lockers can be extremely expensive, and many couriers may simply leave packages on the floor instead of actually using the lockers.

Furthermore, purchasing the Amazon Key will only protect Amazon deliveries, not packages from other carriers.

That leaves the package room, which considers every building and delivery management aspect while improving the resident experience.

As such, the best package room solution is ButterflyMX.


ButterflyMX and package management

Using the ButterflyMX package room is simple and convenient for residents, delivery couriers, and staff.

What’s more, ButterflyMX’s standout delivery feature is the delivery PIN. Residents can create and send a Delivery Pass to any courier to guarantee they can enter the building and safely drop off packages inside. The Pass expires after use for added security.

Unlike complicated lockers, package rooms don’t require busy couriers to painstakingly select a cubby that’s the correct size. All a courier has to do to successfully deliver to a ButterflyMX package room is enter their preassigned PIN code. The ButterflyMX system then notifies residents about their deliveries.

In addition to one-time delivery PINs, residents can also assign recurring PINs or Virtual Keys to common guests, simplifying access for every type of visitor beyond delivery couriers. And to increase your building’s security, the ButterflyMX system takes photos each time access is granted.

The ButterflyMX package room is just the tip of the iceberg. With our suite of keypads, intercoms, vehicle readers, and more, we can integrate your package room into a unified ecosystem that simplifies access throughout your entire building.


porch pirate outdoor


How can you keep your packages safe from porch pirates?

In recent years, porch pirates have been emboldened by an increase in the number of unattended packages. However, there are some solutions you can implement to protect your residents from package theft.

Here are four ways to keep your residents’ packages safe from porch pirates:

  1. Package room
  2. Send special instructions to your delivery couriers
  3. Package locker
  4. Amazon Key


1. Package room

A package room is any room in your apartment building designated for deliveries and storage. Couriers drop off packages in the room, where residents then pick them up. Most package rooms include shelving to keep deliveries organized.

A secure package room should have controlled access, meaning that couriers need a credential to enter. The simplest way to control access is with a video intercom or keypad. That way, delivery carriers can enter a PIN code to gain access instead of waiting for a staff member to unlock the door for them.

Package rooms stop porch pirates by ensuring that parcels are always placed inside the building behind a locked door. Couriers never have to leave packages outside on a stoop or in an unlocked vestibule, like a mantrap door, so porch pirates cannot swipe them.


Watch how the ButterflyMX package room works:


2. Send special instructions to your delivery couriers

Instead of having delivery couriers leave packages out in the open, your residents can simply instruct the couriers to leave the packages in a hidden spot or with a neighbor. While this method of package security doesn’t cost your building anything, a neighbor might not be home, or a package might still be visible even after a courier attempts to conceal it.

Additionally, putting the burden of protecting packages on the courier increases the chances that something will go wrong. As a result, your residents might go looking for a different building with actual package management solutions when their leases are up. So, it’s better to consider a purpose-built solution specifically designed to receive deliveries.


3. Package locker

Installing package lockers is a step in the right direction. A package locker is a security solution that allows couriers to leave their packages in lockers. The package locker itself is usually installed in a building’s lobby. However, the drawbacks quickly become apparent once a package locker is installed.

Installation is a massive hassle, as the package locker takes up space in your lobby that another amenity could otherwise use. Lockers are also problematic because they’re made of cubbies of rigid, predetermined sizes. Since the lockers can’t fit large or oddly shaped deliveries, they might irritate couriers into simply not using the package locker at all.


4. Amazon Key

Amazon Key is an addition to your existing access control system. When an Amazon driver wants to make a delivery, they use their Amazon app to access your property without needing assistance.

The Amazon Key is convenient under certain circumstances. However, your residents will certainly be ordering packages from more places than just Amazon. An Amazon Key only helps to simplify access for Amazon drivers and offers no property access solutions for other delivery drivers.

Read our full Amazon Key review here »


need a package management solution? try ButterflyMX

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Sophia Cooper

Born and raised in Colorado, I love the outdoors, good food, and anything related to real estate or technology.