BOSTON (CBS) – UPS and FedEx drivers help keep many of us sane during this busy time of year by delivering gifts to the front door. But there is the problem of letting packages sit on the doorstep, sometimes for hours, while we work.
Those carefully chosen gifts become easy prey for thieves. According to WBZ security analyst Ed Davis it’s a big problem and it’s growing. “There are suspects that go out there, usually driven by drug abuse, and they will follow the FedEx trucks and the UPS trucks,” he said.
But now you can answer the door even when you are not home with a video doorbell called Ring. Benjamin Levy has one at his front and back doors. “If someone rings the doorbell, it will ring on your cell phone,” he said. “I can talk to the UPS guy and ask him to put the package in another location or to leave it with a neighbor that I know is home.”
But this device is not just about protecting your packages. It could help prevent someone from breaking into your home. According to Davis, thieves often make sure there is no one home before entering a home. “They’ll ring a door bell, knock on the door, go to the back door and when no one shows up, they feel comfortable forcing the door,” he said.
Levy is convinced he stopped a burglar from entering his home when a stranger approached his door, rang the bell asking for directions to a building that was nowhere near his neighborhood. When Levy answered, he quickly walked away. “It was clear he was just making up an excuse for having rang the doorbell and had not expected anyone to be answering,” he said
There is also a social media site called Nextdoor that helps neighbors keep a watchful eye on each other’s homes. The site also allows homeowners to share surveillance footage.
Nextdoor is free. The ring doorbell is $200 plus an annual fee to record and store the video footage from the camera. “There are people paying a lot more money than that to have their premises monitored, so this is limited to the front door, it doesn’t cover the whole house, but I think it’s very helpful,” Davis said.