EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — If you’re doing some online shopping or expecting packages from loved ones, you might want to remain extra vigilant this time of year.
An El Paso family says a Christmas gift they bought was stolen off their porch, something that police say is common during the holiday season.
The family caught the incident on camera and is speaking out so other families can watch out, too.
El Paso homeowner Jazmine Avila says, “It can happen to you. It doesn’t matter if you live in a really good neighborhood or an older neighborhood It can happen to anyone.”
Jazmine and Raymond Avila received a notification while they were at work, saying a package arrived on their porch.
Shortly after, they received another alert.
“I got a notification on my phone that a visitor was detected at my front door,” Jazmine says.
Raymond describes what he says a young man did in the video.
“He placed his finger on the camera,” he says, “You can see that his finger moved around and then when he took it off, he was walking back, and you can see the package in his hand.”
They say he stole a gift they ordered online, leaving the couple and their children feeling violated.
“You have some kind of trust that everyone is going to respect your property and things you have put out in your yard,” says Jazmine.
Raymond, also feeling violated, says, “This is our house. This is where our family lives."
The Avilas reported the incident to the El Paso Police Department, who was able to lift a fingerprint.
They want others to watch out.
Raymond says, “Keep an eye out. It is the holidays. This stuff doesn’t just happen here in El Paso.”
Local police departments say more packages are stolen this time of year due to more packages being delivered and the sun setting earlier.
They say if you fall victim to package theft, you can report the incident online.
Las Cruces police ask residents to call if they see any activity like this in their neighborhood.
The couple says they’re relieved the package was online material.
“It’s something we can get again,” says Raymond. “But that’s beside the point.”
Jazmine says it could have been worse because “There are people that have packages delivered that could be medical.”
She suggests getting your neighbors on your side is a good idea, asking them, “If I’m going to get a package, can you help me out and retrieve it for me?
Police also suggest having your package delivered to your workplace, have it held for pickup, or request a signature at the time of delivery.