You're not the only one excited to see a UPS truck in front of your house this time of the year. For a lot of people a brown box with barcodes and big labels on it means a chance to hit it big and get whatever it is you ordered at an awesome discount by stealing it right off of your porch.
You've heard the stories and probably seen the funny videos, but package theft is a very real problem. It's also one I encountered for the very first (and hopefully last) time this past weekend. I got a text that something I was expecting had been delivered but sometime between then and the time I got home the package was gone. But it wasn't hard to see what happened, because my Arlo Pro camera system caught every detail.
I was lucky. Not just because I had the camera setup, but because what the thief ended up stealing was an 8-pound bag of Dr. Earth Organic Cactus potting soil. Yes, the idiot stole a box of dirt. And left their face, their car, and a crystal clear view of its license plate on digital film.
What was disturbing, though, was watching through the footage of the delivery. It was obvious the car was following the UPS truck. Now, I've never claimed to be Perry Mason, but there is only one reason I could think of why a car driven by someone who would come onto a man's porch to steal a box would be following a delivery vehicle. I was pissed that someone stole my dirt, but what if it had been an expensive item or medicine?
It was just dirt, but it was my dirt.
That prompted me to get the police involved. After a few jokes about so much trouble over a bag of dirt, I showed them the footage of both the theft and the delivery. That got the two officers excited. Within minutes a call to the department with jurisdiction so it could swing by the address where the car was registered and my part was finished. Unless I need to press charges over my box of dirt, which I totally will. It was just dirt, but it was my dirt.
Turns out I'm not the only person here at Android Central with a good reason to have a security camera. In our office alone, cameras have been invaluable for things like seeing who (or what, silly deer) was tearing up a set of hedges, catching someone popping by on the regular to check the spot where packages are delivered on someone's porch, catching the mystery tire-urinating bandit of Toronto, and an actual assault on a mail carrier.
I never expected to become a victim of package theft, nor did I ever imagine a simple smart home security system would do such a great job of "solving" the crime. But hearing so many different stories from just a handful of coworkers made me realize that a security camera of some sort is now a necessity. You don't need anything to do with any cloud — my Arlo system also has local storage via SD card or hard drive through its central hub and can be used as a CVR if you're clever— you just need a way to keep an eye on your stuff. A good system isn't cheap, but it's definitely one of those purchases worth every penny.
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