By: Aliza Vigderman | Last Updated December 10, 2020

Ever since our package theft research began in May of 2020, we’ve found consistently that about 40 percent of U.S adults have had packages stolen, with about 46 percent of these thefts taking place in the past three months. However, our most recent research found that 45 percent of adults had had packages stolen, with 49 percent of the thefts happening in September through November 2020. Here are some more of our key findings:

  • Forty-five percent of all U.S adults have experienced package theft, a new high.
  • This is driven in part by high reports of package theft over the last three months and specifically packages purchased on Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday.
  • Half of adults that have experienced package theft have had a package stolen in the last three months. Additionally, 17 percent of people who purchased a product online during Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday reported one or more packages stolen.

Table of Contents

  1. Why Package Theft Increased This Black Friday and Cyber Monday
  2. More Key Findings
  3. What We Can Expect From Holiday Shopping
  4. Options To Protect Holiday Packages
  5. Recap

Why Package Theft Increased This Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Security.org Package Theft Study Have you ever had a package stolen? (If yes) Have you had a package stolen in the last 3 months?
May 2020 41% 46%
August 2020 41% 46%
October, 2020 40% 47%
December 1st, 2020 (Black Friday and Cyber Monday package theft study) 45% 49%

One of the reasons why package theft increased this Black Friday and Cyber Monday was because of an increase in online purchases. While exact figures aren’t available as of this writing, Adobe Analytics estimated that Black Friday 2020 sales would reach $10.3 billion, an increase of 39 percent from 2019 and that Cyber Monday sales would reach $12.7 billion, a 35 percent year-over-year increase. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an increase in e-commerce in general, while sales grew by 33 percent from Q1 to Q2 of 2020 alone. At the same time, foot traffic to major retailers over the holiday decreased significantly for major retailers.

More Key Findings

Aside from an increase in package theft, here is additional data regarding package theft during Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020:

  • Of the respondents who have had packages stolen, 48 percent filed a police report.
  • 66 percent of our respondents shopped online at Black Friday, Cyber Monday or both sales holidays.
  • Of the respondents that shopped on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, nearly 30 percent ordered five packages or more, while 54 percent ordered two to four packages.
  • 17 percent of people who shopped online on Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday report that one or more packages were stolen.

What We Can Expect From Holiday Shopping

Given the increase in package theft on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, many U.S adults are taking matters into their own hands. In fact, 65 percent of our respondents said that they are changing their holiday shopping plans in response to this increased package theft.

Which changes are you making to your holiday shopping plans in response to the package theft experience from Black Friday? Select all that apply. Percent of Respondents Who Responded Yes
Only ordering items with tracked shipments 48%
Shopping in-store instead of ordering delivery 33%
Curbside or in-store pickup instead of delivery 40%
Send deliveries to another location 25%
Staying home during the delivery window 31%
Adding a new home security system 29%
Adding a doorbell camera 29%
Other (please specify) 2%

Nearly half of respondents are only ordering items with tracked shipments, while 40 percent are opting for curbside or in-store pickup in lieu of home delivery. Due to these changes, we expect package theft to decrease this holiday season as people become smarter about preventing package theft in the first place.

Options To Protect Holiday Packages

Package theft isn’t an inevitability of online shopping. Rather, there are a few products you can buy and/or steps you can take to ensure that you get your holiday packages safely.

Security Systems and Cameras

Outdoor security cameras combined with motion sensors could alert you whenever your package is delivered. The best outdoor cameras come equipped with speakers and microphones, so you’ll be able to speak to the delivery person through the camera’s app and give them more specific instructions. Some cameras, like the Canary Flex and the Arlo Ultra, include package detection, so you’ll only be notified when your package is delivered.

Video Doorbells

Video doorbells are similar to outdoor security cameras, with the major difference being that they’re connected to your doorbell. The Arlo Video Doorbell is the only video doorbell we’ve tested that includes package detection with its Arlo Smart subscription. Otherwise, you’ll be notified either when the doorbell rings or when the camera detects motion. All video doorbells include two-way audio for giving more specific instructions.

Amazon Lockers or In-Store Pickup

If you don’t want your package to be delivered at home, many people are choosing to either use an Amazon Locker or pick up their packages in-store. There’s also the option of getting your package delivered to a P.O box or someone who you know will be home at the delivery time.

Recap

Although package theft has been ramping up all year, shoppers are becoming smarter and are adjusting to protect their holiday packages. We plan to conduct more research regarding holiday 2020 package theft to see if these precautions were effective or not. How can you help? Report your package theft here to contribute to our national database. In the meantime, we’ll keep digging to find the best practices to prevent your packages from being stolen.