Rockford Police are asking for the public's help in finding a suspected "porch pirate".
A Rockford resident captured the suspect on camera, allegedly stealing a package off her front porch. It happened on 21st Avenue on the city's southeast side. 13 WREX spoke with the resident who says the box the suspect stole contained a birthday present for her son.
If you recognize this person, you're asked to contact Rockford Police at 779-500-6551 or Crime Stoppers 815-963-7867.
At the start of the holiday season, roughly 11 million homes across the country reported they had packages stolen from door steps.
Since then, the Better Business Bureau says that number has grown to more than 20 million.
"It happens everyday and it's going to continue to happen unfortunately because we are online purchasing all the time," Dennis Horton, the director of the Better Business Bureau Rockford regional office.
Rockford Police say one of those thefts happened in the 2700 block of 21st Avenue. But, some say that situation could have been avoided.
"Track the package yourself," Horton says. "If you know about when it might be delivered and you have the opportunity you can go home and meet it"
Experts say you can also ask to sign for the package at your doorstep, have it dropped off at your back door if it's not visible to the street or you could invest in a security camera system.
"You can install a webcam system that will notify you that someone is on your front porch and send you a text message so that camera will show who that person is," Horton says.
And if your package does wind up missing, experts say having those extra eyes on your front door step will only better your chances of getting a refund or finding out who stole your items.
"It's a crime and you become a victim of a crime by virtually nothing you did except buy a package or buy a product and have it delivered to your home," Horton says. "So, it's like having someone break into your house."
Rockford Police say they think the theft on 21st avenue is an isolated incident.