GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Thieves take the packages right off doorsteps.
It’s a crime police said increases heavily as thieves look to cash in on the gifts being bought during the holiday season.
The Wednesday after Thanksgiving is marked as National Package Protection Day to help remind consumers to protect their packages throughout the delivery process.
With the help of technology, a simple doorbell may be able to catch a criminal in the act.
“It’s a deterrent because you can say ‘hey I see you there, I already have a video of you, you might as well drop the package and leave,'” said Randy Loper, president of Bursma Electronic Distributing.
The Wyoming-based company specializes in surveillance and security, among other things.
The doorbell also has a cell phone app that allows the user to communicate with someone in real time. It can be purchased at many big-box stores for $50 to $100.
“If somebody walks up to it and pushes the button, your phone will actually go ding-dong or however you set it so you know ‘hey, somebody’s at my door’ and then you can actually have and then you can have a two-way voice conversation with them,” Randy Loper said.
The high-tech door bell is synced to a cell phone app also has a motion-activated camera which starts recording, taking videos or still pictures of the culprit.
“It’s really an interesting time for us and for everybody because it used to be only the wealthy people could afford to have those types of products and now everybody can get them and use them to help protect their packages and their families,” Loper said.
For those who aren’t technologically savvy, the Grand Rapids Police Department offers some suggestions:
- Arrange to be home during the delivery.
- Request a signature for receipt, that way if you’re not there the driver will take back the package.
- Get a neighbor or friend to help pick it up.
Other possible solutions include lock boxes and a new system called Amazon Key, which gives delivery drivers access to a home to ensure safely delivered packages.
Police said the advancement in technology can help track down suspects in these types of crimes who aren’t caught that often.