Thousands of Christmas presents are being left by mail carriers and package delivery people outside Iowans’ homes this week and porch pirates may be watching and waiting to steal those boxes.

Jason Cloudt, with SEI Security Solutions, says if you’re not home to monitor what’s delivered to your doorstep, you should take steps to protect your purchases.

“The most popular things out there today are video doorbells,” Cloudt says. “They’re simple little devices that can replace the button you have by your front door now. They have a camera built in.”

Those video doorbells come in a wide range of prices with a host of associated monitoring services and security systems. The doorbells can also be purchased as stand-alone devices.

“The do-it-yourself items can start under $100. The professionally-installed video doorbells that we install are between $250 and $350,” Cloudt says. Many of the video doorbell systems can be linked to your smartphone.

“Some of the less expensive options may not be tied to your smart device, but the most common devices have the ability for you to just launch an app on your phone and watch live or get an alert when there is live video – someone either pushing the button or someone who is within view of that camera on your front door,” Cloudt says.

If you’d rather not spend money on a camera system, police suggest having packages delivered to your workplace. SEI has offices in Des Moines, Iowa City and Omaha/Council Bluffs.



Radio Iowa