Porch pirates are no joke. Luckily, there are companies who offer redemptions to customers who’ve had packages swiped from their front porch. Learn what to do if your deliveries go missing.

By Hannah Bruneman
November 28, 2018

Porch pirates are the one thing people don’t want showing up at their front door this holiday season. By definition, a porch pirate is a thief who steals packages waiting at the front door while the owners are away at work or running errands.

Image courtesy of Getty
Two cardboard boxes delivered to a residential home wait outside a black metal front door on a brick patio, Midwest, USA

Although most Americans do some sort of online shopping, (two-thirds of Americans have bought products through Amazon, according to NPR), many don't have a solid plan or protection in place for packages that wait at the door. This makes packages extremely vulnerable to theft.

Some companies have acknowledged this problem and are working on ways to guarantee safe delivery. To prevent packages from going missing, you can choose to sign for your packages, have them delivered to a designated pickup location, or buy a password-protected bag or box that holds your deliveries.

But those preventions are just the beginning. If you’re the victim of a porch pirate, you might be able to get a refund from the company that shipped it. Here are the policies on stolen packages from your most-frequented online retailers.


We personally know friends and family who have received replacement products for stolen Amazon packages, free of charge. However, there is no official policy from Amazon that says they guarantee a replacement or refund. Instead, follow the steps they recommend to find a missing package.

If your package has not arrived after waiting 36 hours past the delivery date, we recommend giving their customer service a ring. They might be able to replace a product or two in a limited price range.


Walmart does not have a direct stolen or missing packages policy either. Upon chatting with their online assistant, we found that they need to run an investigation into any stolen packages report.

To help this process along, file a police report of your missing items and email a copy of the complaint to executiveescalations@walmart.com, including your order number and contact information. From there, allow 24 hours for Walmart to reach back out to you with a response regarding a refund or replacement shipment.


Target is willing to offer a refund or replacement for missing items on Target.com orders. They offer step-by-step instructions on their website to claim your stolen items, but they are careful to not promise a full refund. Replacements are subject to availability and will not require any additional charges.

Finally, report the incident. If you live in an apartment building, they may be able to track down an unruly resident who is swiping packages from the mail room. Local police records could pick up on multiple thefts in a single area and issue a warning to residents to keep an eye on their own and neighbor’s possessions. But it’s always best to just ensure you’re home at the time of an arrival, especially if it’s a big-ticket item.


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