What Happens When a UPS Package Is Stolen? (Guide)

Shipping services like UPS are a luxury that is ingrained in our everyday lives, and having a long-awaited package stolen off your porch can feel like a personal attack.

So, what happens when a UPS package is stolen, and what can you do about it? If you’d like to find out, keep reading!

What Happens When a UPS Package Is Stolen In 2024?

If your UPS package is stolen, contact UPS and the sender. You can file a claim for stolen or lost packages, starting 24 hours after the delivery day. However, UPS will not issue a refund for a lost package. Additionally filing a claim with UPS typically takes 8 to 15 business days to process in 2024.

If you’re worried that your UPS package may have been stolen, or just want to know what recourse is available if your package is ever stolen, be sure to check out the rest of the article!

Is UPS Responsible for Stolen Packages?

While it is up to your local UPS courier to decide to leave a package unattended on your porch, or to attempt delivery on another day, UPS does not claim responsibility for stolen packages.

Dawn Wotapka, a UPS spokesperson, said in a WUSA9 interview:

“If a package has been successfully delivered, UPS would not be responsible for the reimbursement… we suggest the consumer file a police report that can be submitted to the retailer for reimbursement,”

In the eyes of UPS, the company is only responsible for packages that are in its custody, and that ends once a job is completed as requested.

This means that the second a package is delivered, UPS is no longer responsible for anything that happens to it.

Will UPS Refund a Stolen Package?

Will UPS Refund a Stolen Package?

As you may have gathered from the above, UPS will not refund a stolen package.

Stolen and lost packages are treated very differently in the UPS system, but if you’re not 100% certain a package was stolen, you should always file a claim with UPS.

You can file a claim with UPS 24 hours after the stated delivery date by visiting the claims page here.

It typically takes UPS anywhere from 8 to 15 business days to process a claim after supporting documentation (i.e receipts and confirmation emails) are submitted.

Claims that are approved and issued payment paperwork typically take an additional 3 to 5 business days to process.

If UPS finds evidence that your package was delivered, then your package was definitely stolen.

This means UPS is no longer liable for it, and does not owe you any kind of refund or insurance payout on the package.

If you’re looking to get a refund on a stolen package, your best bet is always to reach out to the seller who sent the package.

Here are some tips that can help you get a refund from your seller:

  • Be kind- berating your seller is not only unnecessary, but makes them less inclined to help you
  • Include documentation such as your receipt from the purchase that was being shipped, documentation from UPS, and your UPS claim information
  • Try to be flexible- your shipper may not be able to issue a cash refund, but could be able to send a replacement item that is the same or comparable to the one that was stolen
  • Leave a positive review- your seller didn’t steal the package from you, so negatively impacting their business because you’re upset doesn’t help anyone- focus instead on how they helped you after your package was stolen

What If Your UPS Package Is Stolen?

Once you’ve verified that your package has absolutely been stolen through UPS’ claim process, things can feel a bit hopeless.

Even if UPS can’t do anything about your stolen package, there are a few things you can do to help prevent other packages from being stolen and even help remedy the current issue.

As mentioned above, be sure to reach out to the retailer from whom you purchased the package.

The seller may be able to issue you a refund or replacement item to help ease the loss.

While it may seem dramatic, you can also file a claim with your local police.

It’s unlikely that the police will be able to do much in terms of recovering your package, unless there was a witness, or if they’ve been building a case against a local thief.

Here are some reasons you should report package theft to your local law enforcement:

  • It starts a paper trail that gives police a better chance of catching the thief in a certain area
  • The crime will be reported to local and national crime statistics, which will help harsher penalties be passed for porch piracy
  • A police report can help you get a refund or replacement item from the retailer who sent you the package
  • A police report is also helpful if you need to submit a claim to your insurance for the stolen item

You can also consider preventative measures to help combat package theft, such as the following:

  • Installing cameras like Ring doorbells
  • Adding signature services to your UPS packages
  • Asking your courier to leave the package in a more creative/secure place.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on shipping clothes UPS, if UPS delivers to my door, and if UPS delivers at night.


While UPS is responsible for packages in its custody, this custody ends when a package is delivered, meaning the company is not responsible for stolen packages.

You can file a claim with UPS to make 100% sure that your package was stolen and not lost. If your package is lost, UPS will reimburse you, but if your package was stolen, UPS will not issue you a refund.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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