The holidays mean online shopping and packages left at your door, but police say it's also an opportunity for thieves to take off with your goods.
Do you know the woman in the video? Fremont police are asking the public to help them identify the thief who stole a package from a porch in broad daylight.
"I knew I didn't recognize her," said Trevor Fiatal. He is the home owner and the man who caught the whole thing on tape. "Watching the video, I could tell she had a lot of practice at this. She's very good at looking nonchalant and just walking up on the porch and taking it like she belonged there."
When the UPS driver delivered Trevor's package, an alert was sent to his smartphone. But only minutes later, there was a second alert.
"That basically showed somebody coming up on the porch, picking up the package and making off with it," said Fiatal.
She also made off with the bag of groceries that had been collected as part of a holiday food donation. Police describe the woman as 5'4" tall, between 25-30 years old and about 180 lbs.
All movement around Trevor's door activates a security camera. It even recorded us.
Fazale Sharif is the owner and manager of The UPS Store in the Fremont Hub shopping center. He says that UPS is expected to deliver more than 527 million packages over the holiday -- a virtual bonanza for thieves looking for easy targets. So, UPS offers an alternative.
"We'll hold the package for you securely until you're able to come and pick it up," said Sharif.
Police say that most thieves are looking for electronics and high-end gifts. They also offer these tips to try to prevent you from becoming a victim:
- Retrieve your packages as soon as they arrive or ask the delivery company to hold it until you're home
- Mark your packages "signature required"
- Use a company that provides a tracking service
Fiatal used a tracking service and on Tuesday Amazon sent him a replacement for his stolen item – a pair of men's black boots, size 11. Fiatal says he will also be searching eBay and Craigslist to see if those boots pop up.
Fremont police say there have been no arrests made, but they have posted the video on YouTube and it has gotten more than 300 clicks so far.
Here are some more tips to keep your house safe while you're away on vacation:
- Ask a trusted neighbor or friend to watch your house
- Put inside lights and a radio on a timer
- Stop all deliveries
- Don't broadcast travel plans on social media sites