UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) – When the gifts you purchased online finally get delivered to your home, it could be a big draw for so-called “porch pirates.” Law enforcement wants to make sure you’re staying alert.

According to the Upper Arlington Police Department, in 2020, it recorded seven package thefts, three in 2019, and this year, four thefts have been reported.

Upper Arlington Police Officer Bryan McKean said it’s not surprising to see the numbers going back up as more people are have returned to work in the office.

“As you order those deliveries, you want to make sure you’re timing them correctly to when you’re going to be there,” McKean said.

Like all things, work gets busy, and sometimes you get stuck at the office later than expected. Then, you come home and your package is missing.

“If we do have a theft that occurs, we have a program here in Upper Arlington, Citizens Camera Program,” McKean said. The program is designed to keep track of home security cameras or cameras in local neighborhoods to catch these crimes on video.

“We put those on a database that’s a map,” McKean said. “If we do have theft in a particular area, we can go to that map and look at those areas and piece those areas and try to make arrests if packages are stolen.”

Owners retain full control of any recordings and are under no obligation to provide any requested images or video footage to police, he added.

The registration process is short and simple and gathers addresses, contact details, and some basic information about camera locations. This is all submitted privately and no one aside from the police has access to it.

“If we do approach those residents and ask them about the footage, they can choose if they want to share it with us or not,” McKean said.

Police want residents to consider using the Community Crime Map, which allows them to select a time period and type of crime and it will plot them on a map. To view the Community Crime Map, click here.