Police are renewing their appeals for online shoppers to be careful about where Christmas gifts are being delivered after footage emerged of a parcel theft.
In the video obtained by Sky News and filmed on a doorbell camera, a van drives up to a property in Surrey and a woman calmly walks up, grabs the package from under a doormat and runs back to the van before it drives off.
The victim, who didn’t want to be named, said he’d only had the camera system installed a few days before. He was at work when he got an alert on his phone that there was activity at his front door and couldn’t believe what had been recorded.
He said: “I was absolutely amazed, it’s a busy community with dog walkers and lots of mums around with kids during the day and that someone would be so brazen to do this shocked me quite a lot.”
The news comes at the busiest time of the year for online shopping with concerns that this type of theft is on the rise.
According to IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group), December 2016 saw 143.9 million parcels delivered to online shoppers for Christmas. They predict this year that 175 million parcels will be shipped to customers.
Surrey Police who are investigating the incident are urging people to “arrange delivery for a time when you will be in, or get your parcels sent to a trusted friend or neighbour’s house. Alternatively, use a company that will deliver your goods to a store or a convenient pick-up point”.
Officers also say: “If you haven’t received a parcel, your first port of call should be the retailer’s customer service team – you will have rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. However, if you have CCTV footage or stills of a theft in action, please report it to the police via 101 or report online.”
The stolen items in this case were only worth around £10 and were Christmas gifts but the victims are concerned this could be widespread.
The owner of the house said: “The way they did it made me think this is not the first time they’ve done this. I think they’ve been doing it a lot in the area. They probably realise that nine out of 10 packages are not worth a lot but there would be other valuable ones that are high-ticket items.”