DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s the most wonderful time of the year… especially for package thieves hoping to capitalize on the surplus of deliveries on doorsteps.
Police say advances in technology are starting to make a dent in crime, however.
When porch thefts began rising, so did sales on doorbells with cameras inside… such as “the ring.”
It gives homeowners eyes and ears even away from home, and police say that gives them a powerful crimefighting tool.
For Alan, a University Park homeowner, the Grinch came in the form of three thieves, apparently teens. They swiped two packages of Christmas gifts from his porch Tuesday afternoon and then hit six of his neighbor’s homes.
“It’s kind of disturbing that people would do this. Very unfortunate,” he says. “I was kind of in disbelief that it happened so quickly and also at the audacity of the kids to come by shortly after the FedEx packages were delivered to our front door.”
Alan has that information thanks to “the ring,” which sends a motion notification to his phone.
Highland Park police Lt. Lance Koppa believes cameras contribute to a 75 percent decrease in porch thefts this holiday season.
“We can send out notifications to the community with the written word, but nothing tells a story quite like a photograph or a video,” says Lt. Koppa.
Kopps also believes they act as a deterrent.
“Suspects should be well aware that the quality of the videos is such that we can see great images, and these images can also be frozen,” he says.
Dallas police also credit doorbell cameras for an increase in residential theft arrests. With clear images of the three thieves that stole from Alan’s home, he hopes they’ll be caught.
“I hope they learn their lesson eventually and not spoil everybody else’s Christmas,” he says.
Police are continuing to investigate and Alan says he was able to reorder the stolen items at no extra charge.
This time, he decided to use the store pickup option.