TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - One after the other, surveillance video has caught thieves in the act, stealing your holiday cheer right from the front porch.
"This time of year, the holiday season, the numbers do go up," said Deputy Tracy Suitt with the Pima County Sheriff's Department. He says last year, they arrested a man after surveillance video caught him taking someone's package soon after the FedEx truck drove off.
"They'll follow a UPS or a FedEx truck or even a U.S. mail truck around and they're looking for any packages they may be dropping off," said Suitt. "They may check the home for a little while to see if anyone comes to get that package right away. If they don't, they may just walk right up and take it."
He says in many cases, this crime ends in a theft charge. But if the thieves steal U.S. mail, it becomes a federal crime.
To protect your packages, you can first ask for a signature confirmation.
"Check to find out when it's due to be delivered," said Suitt. "Most carriers now, you can go online and find out when those packages are due to arrive."
Online companies like Amazon can also send you a text message when your package arrives. You can have your package delivered to the local mail office, or ask a trusted neighbor to pick up your package for you.
"People are looking for an easy way to get other people's property," said Suitt. "And this is a good way to do it."