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ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – Holiday shopping is here and with it comes a greater chance for packages on your front porch to get stolen.

Gift givers ordering presents for loved ones for the holidays have tried to monitor deliveries with security doorbells and cameras…but sometimes packages still get stolen.

Some believe there needs to be a harsher punishment to stop more porch pirates this holiday season.

“My concern is very high and until we do something in the court system and we make this a lot more of a penalty for stealing from people like this they’re going to do it,” said Odessa homeowner Tommy Clark.

“They’re not afraid of the cameras.”

Cameras and even guard dogs are some ways to stave off potential thieves.

However, neighbors may be the most effective resource at a homeowner’s disposal.

“I feel like these neighbors around here I can really trust. I’ve known them all for a long time,” said Odessa homeowner Dale Jones.

“I’ve got real good neighbors and there’s a lot of people in this neighborhood that stay home.
If we’re gone out of town for a couple of days we make sure that one of our neighbors picks up our packages and our mail.”

Some homeowners say creating relationships with those living around you early on builds a strong line of communication to alert the area to suspicious activity.

It can also help to have an extra set of eyes watching your stuff.

“The ones that move in we speak to them immediately and tell them that we’re going to be watching out for their houses and their property and we’d appreciate them watching out for ours,” said Clark.

Odessa Police recommends leaving your doors and windows locked when you leave the house and if you can– don’t leave your packages visible.

If you’re storing packages in your car, put them in the trunk.

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