How to protect yourself from holiday thieves - KXXV Central Texas News Now

How to protect yourself from holiday thieves

(KXXV) -

With another Cyber Monday in the books, many customers anxiously wait for their packages to be sent.

However, there may be someone else waiting too. 

The Duran family of Killeen knows first hand. Mario Duran said last week he and his wife ordered some gifts for their son.

Monday afternoon, they said a set of gifts for their boys 4 and 8, was stolen right off the doorstep - and they have the video to prove it.

Attached to their doorbell is a motion-detecting camera that caught the thief in the act. No sooner than the package was dropped off, the Durans got a notification their package was picked up.

"As soon as I turned on the video I saw somebody I didn't know leaning down grabbing a box from our front doorstep and walking away. Like it was nothing," Duran said.

Those thieves are called porch pirates.

They wait for packages to be dropped off on the front porch then strike. They are gone in a matter of seconds.

Valerie Duran said the shipment had some games, legos, and a robot.

"Being that it was my son's Christmas gift it was pretty upsetting," she said. 

Statistics say that the Duran family will not be the only victims of this kind of theft.  

During the holiday season, over 600 million packages are expected to be shipped across the country. The website reports that 42 percent of people who shop online report having at least one package stolen.

Police said there are several ways you can prevent being a victim. 

Sgt Patrick Swanton of Waco Police Department said that package theft is a reoccurring problem they see especially around the holidays. 

"What we recommend is trying to have them sent to an address where you know somebody will be if you have a parent that's home during the day or if your business will allow you to have that item shipped to your business than have it shipped there," Swanton said.

Police also encourage security cameras like the Durans used, while it may not deter theft the description can help catch them. Sgt. Swanton also encouraged people if they do become a victim to the porch pirates, file a police report. This way, if those missing items are found that can make it easier to get back to the owner. 

Mario Duran took his video and turned it over to police and posted it online. He is hoping that someone will recognize the thief and come forward.

Duran has a simple question for the thief, why?

"Everybody works hard for their money and you would never want to see this happen to your friends and relatives so why would you do this to somebody else?" Duran asked. 

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