KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Still waiting on that package you ordered Cyber-Monday to arrive? Hopefully it didn't fall into the hands of thieves like has happened to an estimated 23 million Americans, according to a 2015 survey by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.
“The package disappearing off the front step is becoming more and more common,” said Bob Niekamp, Electronic Supply store owner.
His customers have traditionally been businesses, but he says with prices dropping and technology improving and getting easier to use, he’s seen more people interested in protecting their property from porch pirates.
“You can have dome cameras, bullet cameras,” he demonstrated in front of a monitor showing the 16 different camera images he offers.
With so many options, picking the surveillance camera that’s right for you can be daunting.
One of the most popular searches this year is for technology that puts a camera right in the doorbell and allows you to speak to the person from wherever you are on your phone.
"You can say can I help you, leave, or I’m going to call the police.”
Those systems generally run around $200 dollars for the one camera, but Niekamp says one camera systems can miss valuable information that could help police.
“For instance you might want to get the vehicle that the person drove up in,”
Niekamp says the biggest things to look for in any surveillance system are high definition cameras with infrared technology to improve visibility at night. He also recommends a DVR so you’ll have a recording to turn over to police. There are also specialty cameras which focus on the license plates of anyone after our property.
Multi-camera systems can cost you $500 or more, so it might be worth considering how valuable those packages are at your front door. But for many shoppers it comes down to one thing.
“Peace of mind is a big part of it,” Niekamp said.
Shawnee Police recently offered the following tips to help protect your packages, even if you don't have a camera.
-Track the packages online so you have a better idea when they will arrive.
-If you aren’t home see if a trusted neighbor could pick it up.
- Also consider ship to store options or even having your package shipped to your work if it’s allowed.