Combatting Porch Piracy Press Release

Dec 14, 2018 | Press Release

For Immediate Release
Gainesville, FL

Every single day customers report they never receive an online order. According to the 2017 Shorr Report, over 30% of online customers have reported their online purchase missing/stolen from their front porch. With an estimated 25.9 million American having experienced package theft, a special team of behavioral research scientists from the University of Florida, and the industry group Loss Prevention Research Council, are systematically working to reduce delivered item theft using simulated and actual porch areas, reported crime event data sets, and an array of integrated technologies and tactics.

The UF & LPRC science team applies and adjusts situational crime prevention tactics that affect would-be offenders. Effective countermeasures must be ingrained into the minds of potential thieves to convince them “not here, not now.” Situational tactics are designed to affect an offender’s ease of theft action (disruption), increase their perceived fear of detection and sanction (deterrence), and reduce realistic rewards of theft (benefit denial). Another key point of the ongoing R&D is offenders could be delivery personnel, dishonest customers trying to scam the retailer, or of course third-party thieves searching for, or just seizing, a theft opportunity.

A recent LPRC study has been conducted to identify variable constructs of asset, environmental, and population characteristics that may lead to porch piracy, as well as to gain insight on the offender perspective through interviews with porch pirates.  Please click here to view the introductory paper, available to all LPRC members.

The UF & LPRC team is uniquely positioned to conduct this problem-solving research since their mandate is to develop both practical and evidence-based strategies for almost 70 major retail organizations. The LPRC works up anti-theft, fraud, and violence protocols using multi-method research including extensive actual offender interviews, sophisticated data modeling, and rigorous field experiments.

In the case of porch piracy, the group breaks down the online order to delivery process (crime-scripting) to look for vulnerability and protective “treatment” opportunity points, then works to trial and integrate promising practices from purchase, transport, delivery, and return-to-vendor.

Protective treatment opportunity points include:
• Retailer and distribution/fulfillment centers
• Brand name and newly emerging home delivery modes
• Differing residential types
• Varying residential ecosystems
• Day versus night conditions
• Packaging size and marking variations
• Mono and poly protective treatment actions

Please contact the University of Florida Crime Prevention Research Team, and The LPRC team at [email protected], or 352-222-8202 for further questions.