If you're expecting a delivery this holiday season, you'll want to know about this. Criminals have ripped off packages from the doorsteps of nearly 23 million Americans, according to the latest numbers from InsuranceQuotes.com.
It's happening again here this holiday season. We talked to two different victims who caught the thieves on camera in an 11 Call For Action Alert.
Police say sometimes the thieves, nicknamed "porch pirates," follow delivery or mail trucks to the door, then steal the packages that are dropped off. As online shopping continues to boom, so does this crime.
One mother is angry after she caught a woman on camera Monday stealing her daughter's Christmas present right off her doorstep in northeastern Colorado Springs.
"She didn't say anything but she rang the bell and then looked around and just picked up the package," Melissa said. “I couldn’t believe it, that somebody had just taken the package off our porch.”
Melissa showed us video of a delivery driver dropping off the package of toys. Then just two hours later, the woman snatched it up.
“It’s just stuff and it’s something that could be replaced, but it’s because it was for my daughter and it was a Christmas present for my daughter, I just felt violated, like she was violated, so the mama bear instinct kicked in," said Melissa.
“It just felt so wrong and I don’t want that to happen to other people," Melissa added.
But it did happen to other people. There's a similar story at another home in southeastern Colorado Springs.
“He [her husband] saw the postman on the film dropping the box off and about 10 minutes later this lady drives up, she backs up, she walks up on the porch, picks up the package and walks back down and gets in her car," said Vanessa Renaud.
Thieves struck their home twice in the last week or so. It all started when their new car was stolen, so they decided to install a security camera. The very next day it came in handy when the package was stolen off their porch.
"After my car was stolen and this was done, couldn't sleep at night, we could not sleep at night," said Vanessa.
Get this: the package had electronic equipment inside that is for the security camera.
“It was ironic," said Vanessa. "She stole a piece of the camera that actually caught her stealing."
“It’s not just stealing a piece of electronic, it could have been my medication, it could have been some medical equipment that we need and then we would have been out of it," said Vanessa's husband, George Renaud.
“This happens every year this time of year," said Lt. Catherine Buckley, CSPD. "People know that a lot of us do our retail online and lazy criminals take advantage of that.”
Police tell us they have seen an increase in porch thefts over the years.
"I think the increase is simply because of the convenience of online shopping and having it delivered to your house," said Buckley. "So criminals know this and they're taking advantage of that."
"You feel violated," said George.
"I'm angry, I really am," Vanessa added.
"I just felt like they stole from my little girl, my beautiful little girl," said Melissa.
Here's what you can do: make sure you're home when your package is delivered, have it delivered to your work or to a neighbor who will be home. Or, you can pick up your package at the post office instead.
If you have any information about the thefts in the video above, call police.
Police also recommend that you report a stolen package, whether you have video of it or not. You can report the crime online; jjust click the link on the right side of your page. Or you can call the CSPD non-emergency number at 719-444-7000.