Police have issued a warning about parcel thefts ahead of the holiday shopping season.
Toronto-resident Jennifer Thibault was inside her home near Jane Street and Highway 400 this week when she received an alert on her phone, notifying her that something was moving outside her front door.
"I went over to my phone to take a look and I saw someone taking a package off my step,” she said. “I ran outside and the person was already gone.”
“It had just been one minute.”
Thibault’s home has motion-sensor activated surveillance video, which captured the incident and sent it to her phone.
In the video, which was posted to social media, a suspect is seen walking up Thibault’s driveway and picking up a package that had been placed by a pumpkin on her front porch. The suspect appears to walks away with the parcel.
“I was pretty upset that someone had the nerve to walk on to my property and steal something that didn’t belong to them. It was very upsetting,” Thibault said.
Toronto police say this is the season when they expect to see more reports about porch thefts.
“Halloween is over and the next holiday we look forward to is Christmas. This time of the year there are a lot of people who will be making purchases online and having products delivered to their homes,” said Toronto police Const. David Hopkinson. “We would like to warn people to be vigilant about their packages. Don’t arrange for it to be left at your home when you are not going to be there. Arrange for it to be left with a neighbour or have it delivered to your business.”
Hopkinson also said that it is important to report porch thefts so that police can return parcels if found.
“Part of the reason that a lot of these thefts occur is because people don’t report it to the police. I think sometimes these thieves feel that they can easily get away with it.”
In the past, Toronto police spoke with CTV News about the best ways to avoid what they call "porch piracy."
“No one wants to lose a present, or a gift, that’s been sent to them or that they’re sending to someone else,” said Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook.
Thibault said that she will now be asking courier companies to refrain from leaving packages on her doorstep—something she never thought she would need to do.
More on this story from CTVNews.ca