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SPECIAL REPORT: Do home security cameras actually help stop and arrest package thieves?

SPECIAL REPORT: Do home security cameras actually help stop and arrest package thieves? (KOKH/FILE)

TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- Home security cameras catch a lot of porch pirates in the act, but right now, Tulsa police are looking for over 11 people who committed the crime since November.

Many are investing in HD cameras outside their homes, so why aren't more getting caught?

"I think everybody knows that a camera is good for seeing who's in front of your house or around your house. A camera is not going to prevent someone from coming up and stealing your packages," said Kip Jordan, owner of Parcel Safe Systems.

Sydney Herburger lives in midtown and thought her camera might make a difference, but she found out the hard way that some crooks just don't care.

"It is the most unsettling feeling. You just feel violated," said Herburger.

Just this past month, a guy walked onto her porch and took two packages.

"It's baffling to think that people are comfortable enough to take belongings from someone's home. But two, have no consideration for the fact they're being watched," said Herburger.

The images are usually good.

In her case, you could see the suspect's face well, but like many others, he still hasn't been caught.

"It's happened a bunch around here. And it's not their stuff. It's not their property. Even watching the guy walk on my porch makes you feel unsafe," said Herburger.

Tulsa police said these security cameras aren't stopping thieves from stealing off your porch, because unless it's over $1,000 worth of goods, it's only a misdemeanor.

And that didn't sit right with Jordan, the owner of Parcel Safe Systems.

"I had a package stolen a little over a year ago, and $800 grew legs and walked off my porch," said Jordan.

Jordan searched to find a solution to keep his packages protected and found nothing. So, he created a safe that gives access to only the homeowner and the delivery person.

"They want to go to the easy house where somebody has a package out in front," said Jordan.

Jordan said the safe means you're no longer an easy target since it's difficult to break into.

"It's nice to have something secured which no one can steal," said Ravie Kode, who owns one of the safes.

He said he's a believer in the value of the package safe after watching so many people become victims.

"I've seen videos where the porch pirate even waved at the camera and walked off with the package," said Kode.

But don't write off home cameras entirely; those caught in the act are a great way to get your neighbors and police involved.

While it's difficult for police to track down every porch pirate, having security footage is a great help.


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