The holiday season is right around the corner, which means families across the country will start ordering gifts online soon, making it the perfect time for porch pirates to strike.
The U.S. Postal Service expects to deliver nearly 40 million packages each day during the upcoming holiday season.
While robberies and security cameras are nothing new, the rise of video doorbells has changed the way police find criminals, like porch pirates.
“I think nowadays, as far as evidence is concerned, if it’s not on video it didn’t really happen, you know? (Porch cameras) have helped us identify people,” said Pocatello Police corporal, Akilah Lacey.
But the crimes caught on camera don’t stop at stolen packages. Last year, Pocatello police used doorbell footage to catch a different kind of criminal.
“Contractors leave their trailers on their work sites, and people were actually taking their trailers. So (porch cameras) helped us find suspects based on neighbors cameras,” Lacey said.
Even stranger crimes are caught on camera, now.
“Somebody had like a freezer on their porch and someone was taking food out of their freezer,” Lacey said.
Devices, like Amazon’s Ring doorbell, use WiFi and social media to monitor neighborhoods.
“Especially with the app, somebody walks to your doorstep, your phone’s going to tell you maybe before they even knock,” Lacey said.
Ring has partnered with 400 police departments in the U.S. to help them access videos without having to get a search warrant. In Idaho, only the Meridian police have partnered with the company.