What does Pokemon Go have to do with package theft? Why are we concerned? For the most part, Pokemon Go is an innocent enough game (except if you’re playing while driving…seriously, you’re playing Pokemon Go while driving…), but the increase in people wandering around does have its downsides. Package theft is a crime of opportunity. In other words, it happens when you have an unattended package left out on a porch and a person who’s inclined to steal a package in the same place. Pokemon Go might increase the opportunity in a couple of ways. It gets more people out in the neighborhoods where unattended packages are more likely to be, and it gives people an easy excuse to be there.
Pokemon Go has been praised for getting people out of the house. That’s excellent, but it also has people touring neighborhoods to find Pokemon. Sure, it wouldn’t be right to say this will increase package theft, but the risk of stealing a package is relatively low, and more people touring neighborhoods does increase the opportunity. Now we wouldn’t say that having people out and about is bad, and it’s probably a net positive, even if it does increase package theft. It does mean, you might be wise to consider eliminating the temptation by doing something to get rid of the opportunity.
The more serious concern is that Pokemon Go provides a great excuse for porch pirates to be rolling through the neighborhood…no officer, I was just looking for Bulbasaur. Pokemon Go provides a good excuse not only once someone has stolen the package, but also for them to case the area beforehand. Pokemon Go provides a great cover for porch pirates and makes it that much easier for them to steal packages and get away with it.
While maybe nobody’s getting rid of Pokemon Go anytime soon, or even significantly limiting where the Pokemon might be hidden, you can be aware of what this simple game might do for package theft and take some steps towards prevention.