ARIZONA, USA — Out of everything that gets delivered to David Dixon and his family's door, some packages sent from across the country on Friday, Nov. 5 were for his little boy.
"Some family members had sent some gifts from all around the country to celebrate his third birthday," Dixon said.
Dixon said the packages were left at his Chandler home while he was at dinner with his family.
"About 45 minutes later I got a second notification saying a package was picked up," Dixon said. "Which was really weird because we were all sitting out to dinner."
His smart home camera captured a man walking up to his home, taking a couple of packages that were left on the porch, and hurrying away.
Meaning Dixon then had to tell his son the presents sent from his family for his third birthday were gone.
"We did tell him that somebody had unfortunately taken a couple of his gifts but we would get them back and it was nothing that can't be replaced," Dixon said. "But it was definitely difficult to explain to an almost-three-year-old."
Dixon said the person still hasn't been caught, and other neighbors also caught the same suspect on their home security cameras stealing packages from them.
15th highest theft rate
Stealing is what landed Arizona at 15th on a list compiled by CCTV Camera World, looking at larceny-theft rates, which is what people stealing packages off porches fall under.
“The pandemic has a lot to do with this too because when people were staying home, not going shopping in malls, in outdoor stores, so they were doing a lot of online shopping," Sgt. Chuck Trapani with Mesa Police Department said. "And when you do online shopping, it’s delivered to your house.”
Trapani said having packages stolen before you can get them yourself, can happen anywhere.
"It's a crime of opportunity. It doesn't matter if it's Mesa, Scottsdale, Gilbert, or Tempe," Sgt. Chuck Trapani with Mesa Police Department said. "It happens."
Steps to take
Trapani said there are things you can do to help make sure packages aren't stolen from your home, including:
- Requiring a signature for package deliveries.
- Using tracking information provided by carriers to see when your package will arrive, then going to grab it yourself or ask a neighbor to grab it for you.
- Amazon Lockers, or P.O. boxes are also secure locations where packages are delivered and a key or passcode is used to retrieve packages
- Installing smart cameras around your porch and in front of your home can help deter thieves, or also help catch thieves in the act.
"If you're having a package, do your best to safeguard your property," Trapani said. "It's sad these days you have to worry about this, but it's happening."
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