Seattle makes it onto a lot of top-10 lists: best coffee, best new restaurants, best “staycation” spots, even the best public restrooms. But one recent ranking is a list Seattleites would probably prefer to miss — at least, if they do any online shopping.
The Emerald City, along with Tacoma, clocks in as the fifth-worst metropolitan area for packages being stolen from porches this year, according to an analysis by home-security company SafeWise, which looked at FBI statistics on larceny (theft of personal property) and the frequency of Google searches for terms like “missing package” and “stolen package.”
Topping the list was the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area, followed by Salt Lake City (which had a higher larceny rate than the Bay Area, but fewer Google searches on the topic), Portland and Baltimore. Rounding out the list below Seattle were Chicago; Austin, Texas; Denver; Los Angeles; and the Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto area in California.
The good news? Seattle dropped from No. 2 in last year’s ranking.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the law-enforcement arm of the U.S. Postal Service, offers these suggestions on how to keep your packages from being stolen:
- Don’t leave packages sitting in apartment lobbies or at your front door unattended for any length of time.
- Hold your mail when going out of town.
- Have packages delivered to the local post office and pick them up there.
- Use secure shipping options such as requiring the mail carrier to get a signature before handing off the package.
- Monitor your door with a home security system or a doorbell camera.
If possible, you could also have packages delivered to your workplace or to a helpful neighbor’s home. SafeWise recommends working with neighbors to keep an eye on each other’s packages. And if your packages come from Amazon, you can opt to have them delivered to an Amazon Locker — self-service lockers available to Prime members and dispersed throughout the city.
Package theft has been in the spotlight in the Seattle area this year. In August, the FBI broke up a theft ring in which two contract Amazon delivery drivers were allegedly stealing packages and selling the contents to two storefront businesses posing as pawnshops, according to The Associated Press.