The idea of fighting the mall crowds this time of year gives me the willies. To paraphrase Nancy Reagan, I just say no.

I do as much early Christmas shopping as I can ... then place online orders to fill in the gaps with deliveries.

That’s why a survey of other shoppers’ experience with package theft caught my attention recently when it was released.

C+R Research polled 2,006 Americans in September about their online shopping and package theft experiences for its 2022 Package Theft Statistics Report.

It seems I’m not the only person who has embraced online shopping. A staggering 90% of survey respondents receive a package delivery at least once per month. More than half – 55% – said they receive at least one package a week.

At the time of the survey, 14% had lost at least one package to porch pirates. Of those affected, 22% had two deliveries disappear and 11% had three or more packages swiped.

More than one-third of participants know someone who lost a delivery to thieves this year.

The average value of the lost packages was $112.30, the research found.

The survey found those who live in a city are more likely to be a victim of package theft than others. Those who live in rural areas are least likely to fall victim to package theft. The pool of participants also included people living in suburbs.

“Having a package stolen can be frustrating and confusing for customers, especially when trying to figure out how to replace the stolen goods,” the firm said in a news release. “When asked if they think delivery companies are doing enough to prevent package thefts, almost half of Americans – 48% – say no. And likewise, just about the same proportion – 45% – do not believe retailers are doing enough either.”

Until delivery companies and retailers step up, consumers can do some things to reduce the chances they’ll be victimized. C+R Research advises signing up for text alerts, closely tracking packages and being at home to receive their packages.

Survey respondents were 49% female, 48% male and 3% transgender/non-binary. The age range was 18 to 84, with an average age of 39. The results also were broken down by residence type – 54% live in the suburbs, 29% live in the city and 17% live in rural areas. The Chicago firm didn’t include a margin of error.

Assistant Desk Editor

Sherry Slater, Assistant Desk Editor, has more than 25 years of experience at newspapers in Maryland and Indiana. She has covered business issues at The Journal Gazette since 2001 and has additional editing duties.