USPS Stolen Package: How to Prevent It & What to Do When Neighborhood Thieves Strike

Emily Brooks - Editorial Staff

Updated: October 27, 2020

Steps to Take For a Lost or Stolen Package

Steps to Take For a Lost or Stolen Package

No one wants to become the victim of a lost or stolen package, but it happens to the best of us. Here’s what individuals can do if they’re unfortunate enough to have to face those circumstances. While not every single step may be relevant, these tips cover the full spectrum of post office searches and claims.

1. Notify the Seller

Usually, the swiped parcel contains something that the victim purchased from an online merchant. In this case, one of the first things to do is contact them and let them know about the stolen package. Depending on whether it’s an individual seller or a larger retail service, buyers may get a replacement right away.

Some senders are super lenient about these types of things, while others will have customers jump through tons of hoops.

That said, it’s important to hold on to any purchasing and shipping information such as:

  • An order confirmation form
  • Any delivery notices
  • The order or transaction number
  • Tracking information

2. Get in Touch With the Shipper

If talking to the sender directly doesn’t help, then the next step could be getting in touch with the shipping company. This could be FedEx, UPS, the United States Postal Service, DHL, or Amazon. Keep in mind that many of these businesses offer insurance on parcels. If they can’t track the missing mail, perhaps they can assist by helping to file a claim.

Alternatively, it doesn’t hurt to ask the shipping company who was responsible for the delivery. This could provide the opportunity to ask that particular person where they dropped off the mail.

Some common, yet not-so-obvious spots include:

  • At a neighbor’s house
  • Behind or underneath a large rock
  • In plants or flower beds
  • Under the porch or deck

Steps to Take For a Lost or Stolen Package

Lots of people get parcel mail through Amazon, particularly their Prime service. If nothing arrives a day or so after the expected delivery date, give Amazon a call or shoot them an email. The enterprise has a reputation for crediting customers’ accounts when their goods are late.

Another perk is that the business handles communication with third-party sellers. This means that clients can notify Amazon, and a service representative there will message the sender. This alleviates some of the customer’s stress and doesn’t require them to stay tethered to their phone or computer all day, talking with agents.


4. Report it to FedEx

This is another popular mail and parcel carrier that makes it easy for customers to file an insurance claim on a FedEx stolen package. Simply head over to the website and take care of it there. These kinds of disputes typically take less than a week to be resolved, so it’s a relatively smooth process.

Just keep these tips in mind:

  • Don’t discard written or emailed order confirmations
  • Hold on to all packaging, if possible
  • Submit the claim within 60 days

5. File a Claim With UPS

If the shipping went through UPS mail, there are different procedures and insurance claims for domestic and international orders. For any postal mail shipped within the country, clients need to wait 24 hours after the expected arrival date.


Either way, a missing parcel report is a tricky business for UPS because it’s hard to search and track down the whereabouts. Plus, if they do issue a refund, it will go to the seller.

6. Report a USPS Stolen Package on Their Sit

Likewise, a stolen package report of USPS is difficult to submit, especially for an international claim. The postal office doesn’t have a distinct procedure for parcels that go missing in transit or get swiped off a front porch. Mail that magically disappeared in transit is eligible for a refund. If someone stole the boxes from home, contact the seller for a replacement. For best results with an insurance claim for USPS stolen package, be sure to:

  • Hold on to proof of insurance
  • Keep the tracking number handy
  • Take photos, if possible
  • Write down the estimated value of the purchased and/or damaged item(s)

7. Get the Police Involved

If the buyer is certain that someone stole (or damaged) the deliverables from their property, they can report the incident to the police. Just remember that without any solid evidence, it will be hard for the cops to take further action. It could be worth filing the report anyway because if neighbors have similar issues, there could be a real problem to deal with.

To flesh out the police report, be sure to include:

  • Any photos of the theft or suspicious activity
  • Emailed or written order confirmation
  • Information about the shipper and insurance, if applicable
  • The date and time of the incident
How to Prevent Package Theft

How to Prevent Package Theft

Now that we have looked at what to do if the shipper loses the mail or it gets swiped off the property, here’s how to prevent these incidences in the first place.

1. Ask Delivery Workers to Help

Oftentimes, the reason for losing a package is from placing the parcel in a super obvious spot, such as the front stoop or on the lawn. A stuffed envelope or big box of contents is tempting for neighborhood thieves. Instead, try to get in touch with the team in charge of delivering the goods.

2. Choose a Different Shipping Address

Choose a Different Shipping

Since many deliveries are made during normal working hours, it could be a good idea to have the parcels come to the workplace. That way, clients don’t come home from their jobs to a vanished parcel. Instead, it came straight to their workplace and relieved a lot of stress. A locker at the post office is another idea, as is the Amazon Lockers service mentioned above. Services like this prevent damaged goods, too.

3. Get the Neighbors Involved

This might not be as common in 2021, but families who have a good relationship with their neighbors can take advantage of that trust. For instance, they could ask the folks next door to keep an eye out for deliveries within a certain time frame, or they could use the neighbor’s address as the final destination. That way, they can hang on to the box and keep it safe until their pals come home from work.

4. Invest in a Video Doorbell

Invest in a Video Doorbell

The latest 2021 models have state-of-the-art technology such as facial recognition, voice command services, movement triggers, image snapshots, and two-way audio. Some people would consider video doorbells the best insurance against neighborhood thieves and well worth the value.

There are many providers out there, including:

  • Abode
  • ADT
  • Nest
  • Ring
  • Vivint

5. Be Strategic With Lighting

Another cool security device to think about is smart lighting or even just an extra lamp outside the front door. Many of the same providers of the video doorbells also offer smart lighting modules. This could include motion-activated lamps as well as those with hidden cameras or sirens built-in. They can be wired or wireless, and the floodlight option is a popular choice in 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is USPS Responsible for Stolen Packages?

    Not exactly, but they will help with the relocation process services if that’s possible at all. Filing a USPS stolen package report isn’t the easiest thing, but if buyers insured their purchases, that’s a huge advantage.

    Typically, insured items that get misplaced during transit are automatically eligible for a refund. If it was a matter of someone stealing the box off the front step, that’s a bit different. It requires the buyer to contact the seller and work out a refund or replacement deal.

  • Can People Get Refunds for These Packages?

    Yes, but the process depends on the carrier and whether someone stole the parcel or it got shuffled around during transport and seemingly vanished into thin air. Different shippers have their distinct policies, but most are very helpful with insured items and will promptly offer a refund.

    Others won’t take responsibility for their drives, losing the products. When it comes to boxes that were swiped by neighborhood delinquents, the shipper usually puts the customer in touch with the seller to work out the details.

  • What to Do If USPS Says Delivered, But There’s No Package?

    Sometimes there is a delay between what the shipment information says and whether or not the product gets delivered. In some cases, the online tracking details will say that the item reached its destination, and maybe it will be later that same day. In other instances, it could be a full day before it makes its way home. If it’s been over 36 hours, contact the offices and let them know the deliverable is missing.

  • Will USPS Reimburse Clients for Lost Packages?

    Yes, but keep in mind that this only applies to items that the company misplaced itself. In other words, it doesn’t apply to clients who let their delivered products sit outside all day. If someone came along and snatched it off the front porch, that is more of a personal problem and isn’t eligible for a refund of USPS Stolen Package. So as long as the missing item is the carrier’s fault, it’s possible to get reimbursed.

Prevent Theft & Know How to Handle Cases of Misplaced Items

Losing an item is terrible, no matter the reason, was is USPS stolen package, FedEx, or other shippers. Especially when it was expensive and highly anticipated. Hopefully, these tips will shed more light on why this kind of theft happens and how to stop it. Also, the step-by-step instructions should help consumers communicate with the popular shipment carriers in case a parcel slips out of existence during transport.

Editorial Staff

As a journalist, Emily draws on her rich experience in home safety and seeks to research more on the topic. She is truly passionate about her interests. Emily is knowledgeable about security systems due to the in-depth studies that she has conducted for Securing Home.