Tips for Getting Your Package Theft Prevention Game On

It’s common knowledge that package theft is a common big-city issue during the holiday season and beyond. Suffice to say that stolen packages are never a welcome event, however the situation is particularly painful when it comes to stolen gifts. And the fact that the delivery time of some packages is taking longer during the pandemic only adds insult to injury.


When it comes to preventing package theft in San Francisco, SF SAFE’s “Package Theft Prevention Guide” is a valuable resource to help community members keep their packages secure upon delivery. Here are our top tips:


If you won’t be home when your items are delivered, think about using the "Hold Package" option at to have your packages held at the post office for pick up. You can also arrange for neighbors to pick up any packages that might be delivered.


Consider using the USPS’ special services like Signature Confirmation or Registered Mail to add an extra layer of security.


Whenever possible, request nondescript packaging. When finalizing your online order, opt for packaging that conceals the item or select the 'gift' option to ensure your package arrives in a plain box—especially when ordering from a high-end retailer.


Look to network with neighbors to create a safer neighborhood and to send a message that crime is not tolerated there. Neighborhood groups on social media, community apps and Neighborhood Watch Groups can provide a system for reporting suspicious activity. This is also a good way to keep your deliveries and neighborhood secure.


Keep your porch area clear and visible. The more likely a potential package thief is to be seen, the more likely they are to choose another target.


Customize deliveries by adding specific delivery instructions using and your tracking number. You can also schedule packages to arrive when you are home or reroute packages.


Send packages to secure locations such as Amazon Lockers, FedEx and UPS locations, p.o. boxes and your local post office.


Take advantage of modern alternatives like smart lockers, lockboxes, cameras, motion detection lighting, alarms like Package Guard and services like Doorman.


Need additional package theft prevention or other safety/security tips? Contact SF SAFE at or 415-416-6435.