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Stop porch pirates: High-tech tools to prevent package theft

Fortunately, there are high-tech new tools to protect your online purchases. (WJAR)

(WJAR) -- It's become an all-too-familiar sight in recent years -- security camera footage of “Grinches” stealing holiday packages in broad daylight.

With 59 percent of all consumers expected to shop online during the 2017 holiday season, crooks will probably find plenty of unattended packages in the coming weeks.

Fortunately, there are high-tech new tools to protect your purchases.

Cranston resident Tim Howard does most of his shopping online, and he doesn't want his purchases sitting on his porch all day.

“One thing that I noticed is a lot of the security systems don't do anything for outside the house,” said Howard.

So, he created his own security system for deliveries, similar to the much-buzzed-about Amazon Key.

With a Ring video doorbell and a Schlage smart lock, Howard can let a delivery person into his home remotely.

“Anybody rings the bell it's going to capture video of it,” said Howard.

The Ring video doorbell alerts his smart phone in real time, revealing who’s at the door. A built-in microphone enables Howard to communicate with the person on his porch.

If Howard trusts the delivery person on his porch, he can remotely unlock his front door, using the Schlage app on his smartphone.

Once the delivery driver places the package inside, Howard can the remotely lock the door.

NBC 10 News stopped by The Home Depot in Providence to check out a few more ways to protect your packages.

Store Manager Marcelo Arantes said if you’re apprehensive about letting a delivery person inside your home, check out smart garage door openers.

“If you do know your delivery man, you can have your garage open from your phone and put in whatever packages are there and close it afterwards,” Arantes said.

To deter package theft, Ring also offers a motion activated security camera with lights.

“When they see the lights come on and the blue lights from the camera, people will probably think twice before doing anything,” said Arantes.

For smaller packages, a locking mailbox will keep your deliveries safe and secure.

If you’re looking for a budget friendly solution, check out the $89 Package Guard. The frisbee-sized disc alerts your smartphone when a package is delivered. If someone tries to nab it, Package Guard sounds the alarm.

You can purchase the following products online:

Ring Video Doorbell for $179

Schlage Sense Smart Lock for $229

Chamberlain Smart Garage Opener for $169

Ring Floodlight Cam for $249

Mail Boss Package Master Locking Mailbox for $239

Package Guard for $89

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