By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It is the time of year when people are shopping online and packages start piling up on doorsteps.

Every year, police warn to watch for people stealing packages off the front porch. More cameras could help curb the problem.

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Home cameras can catch a variety of things. Tom Henderson’s caught a fill-in mail carrier throwing a package a few weeks ago. A few years ago, it caught a man stealing a package off his porch.

“It feels terrible to realize somebody is messing with your stuff. You feel violated and angry,” Henderson said.

His camera caught the culprit. That is what Coon Rapids police hope will happen when a crime occurs in their community. The department partnered with a growing number of homeowners with home surveillance.

(credit: CBS)

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“We definitely are seeing a lot of people and I think it’s really related to the cost coming down substantially,” said Trish Heitman with Community Outreach.

Whether it is a serious crime or a porch pirate, they want to work hand in hand with homeowners to look at what a camera captured after an incident.

“They’re crimes of opportunity. You’re leaving those packages out all day when you’re at work, people just they take advantages of that,” Heitman said. “So we’re hoping people are taking proactive steps. If something were to happen we would have tools to basically catch them.”

Henderson now requires a signature, so he is home when something sentimental or something of value gets delivered. He advises others to do the same.

“It could happen anytime, but I think this is probably prime time when things of value get shipped,” Henderson said.

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Police suggest looking out for your neighbors. If you see something suspicious, contact them.

Jennifer Mayerle