Get Gephardt: Why you cannot rely on doorbell cameras to thwart porch pirates

Dec 6, 2022, 1:47 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — Over a third of us have been hit by porch pirates in the past year according to a new study from While doorbell cameras have become an extremely popular tool, theyre not doing much when it comes to preventing package theft. 

With over $11 billion of stuff bought online just this past Cyber Monday alone, according to Adobe Analytics, porch pirates are a real threat this season.

We repeatedly see delivered packages swiped by porch pirates right off doorsteps and often, on camera.

How often do the porch pirates get caught? Not very, answered’s Divya Sangameshwar.

“Thieves know about video doorbell (cameras) so they kind of hide their face, they wear a hoodie or a mask,” Sangameshwar said.

Or they walk below or around the camera’s line of sight.

That personally happened to me,” she said. “A package got stolen and all I saw the thief was the tips of his finger which was pretty useless when it comes to try to file any kind of report.”

Despite all the doorbell footage out there, in data shared with KSL, found only 17% of victims called the police. Instead, 62% called the retailer they bought the package from.

“If you’re ordering from a major retailer and you get in touch with them, they’re probably going to send you a replacement,” Sangameshwar explained.

Seventy-one percent of victims told they got at least something from the retailer for their stolen package. Do not expect it when you’re trying to replace something that’s valuable, popular, or both.

“Last year, a PlayStation 5 got stolen from one of our neighbors,” she said. “And even if the retailer was willing to refund them or get them a replacement – the replacement was taking several months, so they weren’t going to get it in time for the holidays.”

So, Sangameshwar said, you cannot rely on your doorbell camera to save Christmas.

Your best bet: Make sure a package needs to be signed for on delivery or ensure it arrives when you are home. Or have it delivered to your office or to a package locker like an Amazon hub. Or arrange to pick it up from a Fedex Office or a UPS Store. And if you are really worried, buy Christmas gifts like they did in cavemen times – go into the actual store and buy it.

They used to do that, you know, back in the in the olden days of 2019.”

Most homeowners or renters insurance policies cover package thefts but given most deductibles run between $500 and $1,000, filing a claim probably will not make sense for the average gift.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Get Gephardt

Matt Gephardt and Cindy St. Clair

After new homes flood, residents question if builder or Mother Nature is to blame

Several new homes in a Lehi community flooded during rainstorms earlier this month. When they say the home builder told them they weren’t responsible, they decided to Get Gephardt to investigate.
3 days ago
Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: The ‘most used’ photos to catfish victims in romance scams

KSL Investigator Matt Gephardt shows us some of the most widely used photos in romance scams and how we can protect ourselves.
4 days ago
Matt Gephardt and Cindy St. Clair

AmeriGas customers nationwide Get Gephardt after waiting weeks for propane

Calls to Get Gephardt have come from across the country, all having the same problem: missing propane deliveries. So, where’s the gas?
8 days ago
Grant Clark waited for repairs on his car...
Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: Orem man’s auto repairs take 13 months due to parts shortage

If your car needs minor repairs, be prepared to wait. That warning comes from a Utah County man who had to wait for more than a year for his car to get fixed.
10 days ago
Susan Lee Wilson, attempting to use her phone after another outage. (KSL-TV)...
Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: Salt Lake woman battles phone company to fix 12-year-old landline problem

You pay for phone service, so you would expect to receive phone service. But when a Sandy woman’s landline kept going dead for more than a decade, she decided it was time to Get Gephardt.
11 days ago
HONG KONG, CHINA - OCTOBER 21: A Cathay Pacific passenger jet takes off from Hong Kong Internationa...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Ways to save on the rising cost of insuring travel plans

From severe weather to industry staffing shortages and from systemwide FAA glitches, winter travel has been rough. Here's how to save money on travel insurance.
15 days ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Get Gephardt: Why you cannot rely on doorbell cameras to thwart porch pirates