Security camera activated by doorbell catches thief on tape

With the holidays approaching, more and more people will be shopping online and having packages delivered to their homes. Now, a local family is warning others to take precautions after a quick-acting thief stole packages from its front porch in broad daylight.

The theft, which happened Friday afternoon in Cranberry Township, was caught on surveillance video.

The homeowner works for a security company and recently installed a new video camera that's activated when the doorbell rings. UPS delivered packages on Friday and the delivery person rang the doorbell, which activated the camera. Minutes later, a man stole all of the packages from the porch.

“At 12:58 UPS dropped off the package, and at 1:16 the guy came up and took the package. So more than likely he was probably following (the) UPS truck around,” Todd Homitz, said. “The video shows the thief clearly parked down the street with his car still running. He strolls up in his green neon vest, snatches the package, and casually walks away.”

His wife, Angela Homitz, said they're surprised this type of crime would happen in their neighborhood, as they've not heard of any similar reports.

"It made my stomach sick,” she said.

The Homitz family said this may be one of the first cases of the season in their area, but likely not to be the last.

“All of a sudden you see somebody who violates you and steals something that was meant to be a Christmas gift. Police are calling him a 'porch pirate' -- a person who follows behind a delivery truck, waits for them to drop off the package and then steals the item,” Angela Homitz said.

The family said people should have packages delivered to their places of employment, where someone will be during delivery hours.

No arrests have been made, and anyone with information is asked to call police.