Defending Multifamily Communities from Package Theft

In an age where online shopping has become the norm, package theft has unfortunately risen as a concern, especially in multifamily communities. The convenience of doorstep delivery is often offset by the risk of packages being stolen before residents can retrieve them. However, there are several proactive measures both residents and property managers can take to mitigate this issue and ensure packages arrive safely into the hands of their intended recipients!

Understanding the Problem

Package theft, commonly known as porch piracy, is oftentimes defined as an occurrence where thieves steal packages left outside of residences before they can be collected by the intended recipients. This problem is particularly prevalent in multifamily apartment buildings where a large number of packages are delivered daily to shared spaces like lobbies, mailrooms, or outside individual doors.


Tips for Residents

  1. Opt for Secure Delivery Options:
    • Request delivery to your apartment’s office, staffed package room, or a secure package locker if available. Many apartment complexes now offer package lockers where deliveries can be securely stored until residents retrieve them with a unique code.
  2. Track Your Packages:
    • Use tracking services provided by delivery companies to monitor the status of your deliveries. This allows you to know when your package has been delivered and retrieve it promptly.
  3. Communicate with Neighbors:
    • Build rapport with your neighbors and consider asking them to keep an eye out for your packages if you’re not home. Offer to return the favor to create a supportive community atmosphere.
  4. Install Security Cameras:
    • If permitted, install a security camera near your apartment door or in a common area to monitor package deliveries and deter potential thieves.
  5. Consider Delivery Instructions:
    • Provide specific delivery instructions to carriers, such as leaving packages in a less conspicuous location or with a trusted neighbor if you’re not home.

Strategies for Property Managers

  1. Implement Secure Package Storage:
    • Install and promote the use of package lockers or a dedicated package room with controlled access for residents. These secure areas can significantly reduce the risk of theft.
  2. Enhance Surveillance:
    • Increase the number of security cameras in common areas and ensure they cover package drop-off locations. Visible surveillance can deter thieves and provide evidence in case of theft.
  3. Enforce Package Policies:
    • Clearly communicate package delivery and retrieval policies to residents. Encourage prompt pickup of packages and establish guidelines for delivery companies to follow.
  4. Work with Delivery Services:
    • Collaborate with delivery companies to coordinate efficient and secure package deliveries. Encourage them to use secure drop-off locations and avoid leaving packages unattended.
  5. Educate Residents:
    • Raise awareness about package theft and educate residents about preventive measures they can take. Regularly update them on any security improvements or changes in procedures.

Community Engagement

Creating a sense of community and vigilance among residents can also contribute to package theft reduction. Encourage residents to report suspicious activity and promote a culture of looking out for one another’s belongings.


Protecting against package theft in multifamily apartments requires a combination of individual responsibility and collective action. By implementing secure delivery options, enhancing surveillance, and fostering a community-oriented approach, both residents and property managers can significantly reduce the risk of package theft and ensure a safer and more secure living environment for everyone. Together, these efforts can help preserve the convenience and reliability of online shopping without the fear of stolen packages.


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