Home security videos help homeowners crack down on package thieves

It's an unfortunate yet all too common scene this holiday season. And its playing out all over metro Detroit.

With high quality video these days, homeowners can see when packages are stolen outside their door -- giving police an instant lead to build a case.

"We are finding that homeowners are increasing camera surveillance which we recommend - and our investigators, our officers, who are working diligently ion an attempt to identify these people, are using this as a resource," Clinton Twp. Police Sgt. Anthony Coppola said.

Earlier this week, FOX 2 first shared the particular crime where a man apparently steals packages with two young children in tow. The next day, Clinton Township police put out video of another crime caught on camera. 

More and more people are using the Internet to buy goods, and thieves are taking advantage. So Clinton Township police are going online as well in a different way.

"Once we identify a suspect or there is something to go on, we will use social media to get the public's assistance," Coppola said.

More often than not, it sends investigators in the right direction. 

One piece of video allegedly shows a woman going from mailbox to mailbox looking for outgoing checks, which police say she then cashes for herself. Shortly after the video was posted, a person of interest was caught. 

But police say, despite all the tools at their disposal, they would rather people work on prevention -- something as simple as talking with a neighbor. 

"Even if a package isn't being expected," said Coppola, "by all means have a neighbor keep an eye out on things and return the favor when possible."