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Video Doorbells And Social Media Help Crack Down On Package Thefts

BROCKTON (CBS) - Sam Dotting of Brockton hoped a new video doorbell would help keep thieves away from his front steps. But it didn't stop a man from walking away with several packages for his grandchildren that were delivered by Amazon.

"It's a violation. I have never had anything stolen from my property before," he said.

Surveillance systems like the one Sam has can actually help, according to Quincy Police Sgt. Karyn Barkas. "We have definitely been able to identify package thieves using surveillance cameras. It is definitely a very useful tool," she confirmed.

According to Barkas, Quincy Police have had great luck posting videos and photos of alleged package thieves on social media.

"Our neighbors and our citizens are our eyes and ears. They see a lot of what is going on in their neighborhood," she said. "Having that large audience looking at it, we've been very successful."

Camera or not, there are steps you can take to avoid leaving your order in plain view, particularly this time of year when thieves are on the lookout for holiday orders.

- Request delivery to a back door or garage.
- Sign up for text updates on your delivery.
- Schedule a delivery date when you know you'll be home.
- Use Amazon lockers offered at area Whole Foods and convenience stores, UPS Access Point Lockers, or Amazon key service that allows the carrier access to your home or car.

According to Sgt. Barkas, as surveillance systems become more prevalent they will likely become a more powerful deterrent. "Maybe it's making people think twice. Maybe they are looking a little closer to see if there is a device," she said.

package theft
Sam Dotting's doorbell camera caught this man stealing packages from his home in Brockton. (Image credit: Sam Dotting)

Brockton Police are still looking for the thief who took Sam's packages. In the meantime, he says he will be more careful about delivery instructions for his next order.

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