MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar) – Tis the season for online Christmas shopping… and Christmas package poachers.

It’s ramping up because the deadline for getting gifts delivered in time for Christmas keeps getting closer. Porch thieves also know that and have been using consistent strategies to steal gifts.

Midland Police say many package thieves drive through neighborhoods during the day when packages get delivered and most people are at work.

This strategy allows them to easily scout multiple houses in a neighborhood and get away quickly.

“Once they see a package sitting on a front porch, they might drive by once, they might drive by a second time,” said Midland Police Officer Chane Blandford.

“They’ll walk up, knock on the door, see if anybody’s home. Or, they just walk up and they take it and walk back to the car, get in the car, and leave.”

Police suggest using a chair or bench to hide packages from view when would-be thieves drive down the street.

Cameras on houses and doorbells won’t always stop a theft from happening especially if a package is in full view. However, MPD says footage could help identify the thief later since they’re mostly repeat offenders.

“Cameras are great evidence-wise,” said Blandford.

“We get a picture, we can see vehicles all that sorts of stuff and helps us solve the crime. If we can get an ID on one we can definitely solve multiple crimes because they don’t commit it just one time.”

Police also recommend you schedule deliveries for when you’re home. Another option would be to have important items delivered to a pack and ship location like a UPS or Fed Ex store.