NEW YORK (PIX11) — A car pulled up to a home on Oct. 13 in Massapequa, Long Island, and in less than 10 seconds, a thief trots up to the front steps and quickly steals a package containing a brand new iPhone for Jay’s son.
Jay told PIX11 News Wednesday there was no way to track the thieves’ vehicle.
“As soon as they left it on the doorstep there. I mean, it wasn’t even five minutes later we had a camera on it, but you know the cameras don’t pick up their license plate,” said Jay.
Jay is not alone. Nassau County police said last month that called “porch pirates” snatched packages at several homes – in broad daylight, all but one of the incidents in Massapequa.
“These thieves look like they know what they want,” said Petrina, who lives in Massapequa.
Adding to homeowners’ frustration – surveillance cameras were not always helpful to police.
You would think that having a security camera mounted at the front of your home would be a sufficient deterrent for package thieves.
One homeowner told PIX11 News his Wi-Fi camera failed to record the critical moment when his package was stolen. It turns out that Wi-Fi signal scrambling is a real thing, and there are only a few practical ways to prevent it from happening.
Tech experts said using an ethernet cable to hardwire your cameras or recording the video locally to a memory card can prevent signal scrambling.
But running all of that cable isn’t always possible, and large video files can fill up a memory card fast.
“I feel like these people know exactly how to disable things so that they don’t get caught,” said Petrina.
Of course, there’s also good old-fashioned vigilance and helpful tips. Make sure you:
- Track shipments and (if possible) be home for a delivery
- Require a signature on a delivery
- If you’re out of town, request you’re your delivery service hold the package
- Make pick-up arrangements
The ultimate goal – to make sure a thief doesn’t pick it up for you.
FedEx, one of the country’s major delivery services – especially during the holidays, sent PIX11 a statement that reads in part:
“FedEx is aware of these incidents, and we are cooperating with authorities. The security of our customers’ shipments is our top priority, and we encourage any customer who believes a shipment has been stolen to immediately contact local law enforcement. Additionally, customers are encouraged to enroll in FedEx Delivery Manager to help ensure the secure delivery of shipments. Sign up is free at fedex.com/delivery.”