In 2017 alone, more than 5 billion items shipped with Prime, according to Amazon. That's a lot of packages. And out of those billions, some people unfortunately fall victim to "porch piracy"; someone swiping your packages from your front door before you get your hands on them. If it's happened to you, you're far from alone. But what cities are most prone to so-called porch pirates?
A new analysis from Shorr, an Illinois packaging business, dubbed "Analysis: Amazon Package Theft in Major U.S. Cities," analyzed Google search trends in the 50 largest U.S. cities, to find out where Amazon package theft is most concentrated. Data is based on search volume for "Amazon package stolen" and U.S. census estimates.
"We started with this basic assumption: When a person searches the phrase 'Amazon package stolen,' there's a high likelihood that person has had a package stolen and they are looking for information about how to respond," Andy Kerns, creative director of Digital Third Coast (the digital marketing and search company who conducted the analysis on behalf of Shorr) explains to CNBC Make It.
Havens of wealth — including San Francisco, California; Seattle, Washington; Boston, Massachusetts; and Washington, D.C. — rank high on the list when looking at searches per capita, which the study highlights as a "fascinating trend."
"In San Francisco, that search 'Amazon package stolen' is executed an average of 210 times per month, across a population of 884,363. So we used those numbers to calculate a searches per capita value," Kerns says. "Of course many more packages are stolen than searches executed, but this 'searches per capita' gave us a relative indicator to measure the prevalence of package theft across many cities."
Below is a ranking of the top 10 cities where "Amazon package stolen" is most Googled per capita:
1. San Francisco, California
2. Seattle, Washington
3. Minneapolis, Minnesota
4. Boston, Massachusetts
5. Portland, Oregon
6. Washington, D.C.
7. Oakland, California
8. Baltimore, Maryland
9. Atlanta Georgia,
10. Sacramento, California
The Google search prevalence results were then also checked against city-based larceny theft rates in each city, which revealed two outliers: Boston and Tucson, Arizona. While Tucson has the highest larceny-theft rate of the cities analyzed, the report states, it didn't rank high for "Amazon package stolen" searches. Meanwhile, Boston had the fourth highest prevalence search for stolen Amazon packages, but also has one of the 10 lowest larceny-theft rates in the country.
According to Amazon, the vast majority of deliveries make it to customers without issue, and if something does go wrong, the company has a 24/7 customer service department to help. The company points out to CNBC Make It that customers can track their packages at Amazon.com and its Amazon Map Tracking feature lets customers view the progress of their delivery on a map in real time once the driver is close. There are also tools including Amazon Locker and Amazon Key.
While e-commerce provides consumers with convenience, issues surrounding porch pirates have continually cropped up. A 2017 survey from home security firm Ring found that nearly one in five U.S. homeowners has been a victim of package theft, with the crime being more prevalent during the holidays.
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