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Neighbors Warning Others Of Thieves As Online Holiday Shopping Gets Underway

LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) - The holidays are just around the corner and porch pirates are already snatching packages. This year experts expect opportunity for crooks will be high with more online orders and a longer holiday shopping season.

In Loveland, Ryan Hickman has already fallen victim.

"This camera (was) able to catch it," he said.

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(credit: CBS)

The surveillance video shows the moment the unknown vehicle arrives, to the mask-wearing thief showing up on his doorstep, even an accomplice making his getaway from the home next door. Inside Hickman's package was a weather station worth hundreds of dollars. His neighbors and others on his street likely lost hundreds more.

"They took the same route out, and there are packages in the back of the vehicle," he said.

Hickman fears it's a sign of what's to come, with more people opting for home deliveries this holiday season.

"There's going to be way more packages reaching people's porches because people don't want to go out," he said.

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(credit: CBS)

According to CBS News, Deloitte, a consulting firm, says online sales are expected to grow between 25% and 30%, and they account for nearly a 17% of total retail sales this year. With the increase comes an extended holiday shopping season as consumers try and avoid shipping delays.

While Hickman hopes the video will help identify the thieves, face masks due to COVID-19 are making it easier to avoid identification. And he's instead warning others to do more before it happens to them.

"You have to be on the lookout, be ready for stuff like this, be vigilant," he said.

Police suggest using lockers for deliveries or making sure you'll be home to receive a package. They also say asking shipping companies to place packages on the side of the home or somewhere crooks can't see them from the street can help prevent theft.

Loveland police are investigating the theft from Hickman's home. If you recognize the vehicle or those suspects you're asked to call them. You can contact Officer Howard at 962-2052 ext. 1145 and reference case #20-8003.

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