August 22, 2013

Security Cameras, Other Protection for Holiday Home Deliveries

File this story under “I’ve heard of that happening, but what are the chances it would happen to me?”

Well, according to a report on NBC’s Today show this morning, thefts of packages left on front porches or doorsteps by delivery companies are experiencing an uptick this year.

Pictured above is a dome security camera positioned on the roof of a porch.

And just like with house break-ins, these crimes are often committed in broad daylight, in quiet neighborhoods, with neighbors carrying on in the meantime.

And thieves have more opportunity than ever this holiday season, since more and more people are doing a greater percentage (if not all) of their gift shopping online. This could possibly explain the aforementioned uptick in thefts, but nonethesles, there has been an increase no matter how you look at it.

So what can you do about it? Can you hold the delivery companies responsible? Actually, they will not be held accountable for any theft after the package has been delivered. Nor should they be.

But most do have the option for delivery confirmation. They would require someone be present to sign for and accept your package if you choose that option when you purchase your product. There may be fees associated with this this.

But since this is a security blog, let’s talk for a minute about video surveillance. The report on the Today show indicated that many people use home security cameras.

One woman interviewed even posted images of her thief online. But at the time of the report there were no suspects.

Home video surveillance helps in a few ways. Yes, you can also post clips of the thief online after the fact and provide the images to authorities—you are so far ahead of the game if you have these pieces of the puzzle than if you didn’t.

But if you have the home security cameras installed in plain view on your front porch or equivalent area, they certainly act as a deterrent to some degree. They obviously don’t stop all brazen thieves, but they do more good than harm, many would say.

You can also set up remote video monitoring for your home. You can at least see your package throughout the day. As well as see when it arrives, then call a neighbor to go pick it up. Some remote video monitoring allows you to transmit audio, so you could communicate a choice greeting to someone you saw snooping where they shouldn’t be.

In fact, driveway alert sensors can also transmit pre-recorded messages that warn potential package-stealers that they are on video or that they should think twice. These can be set up in a variety of places.

Other actions you can take include having the package delivered to your place of work. You could also have a trusted neighbor keep watch for the delivery and pick it up upon arrival, or have it delivered to him or her.

According to the report on Today, some companies are offering text alerts upon delivery, so be sure to ask for this.

Thanks for spending some time with us today.


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