Consumers Warned After Phone App Cited in Porch Package Thefts

Suspects accused of tracking UPS trucks on a phone app.

— -- As seen on a home surveillance video, it looks like a typical package delivery as a UPS driver drops off parcels.

After the UPS driver leaves, however, a U-Haul van backs into the driveway. The driver of that vehicle gets out and snatches two boxes.

But to Tarzana, California, homeowner Rick Deckman, the suspected robbers picked the wrong house.

That’s because Deckman has 20 home-surveillance cameras and caught the alleged thieves red-handed.

"This must be one of the stupidest criminals ever," he said. "I have signs posted around my house; ‘Smile, you're being videotaped.’”

Police tracked the license plate from the van and arrested a man and a woman.

“There were just piles and piles of just stuff, boxes, mail,” LAPD Officer Daryl Scoggins said.

But what makes it worse is that the alleged thieves possibly turned to technology for an assist.

LAPD said the suspects were tracking UPS trucks on a phone app and attempted to locate packages without a tracking number. UPS denied their technology was compromised.

Identity theft expert Robert Siciliano said, “If L.A. police say they found evidence of searches, that means the will is there to crack that code.”

These porch pick-offs are nothing new. In West Virginia, a woman played the role of the Grinch, allegedly snatching holiday packages and even the wreath right off the front door.

Experts are warning shoppers to beware as online retail sales are soaring, up to $334 billion this year.

As the holiday season approaches, experts say you should schedule deliveries for when you're at home, or have packages sent to your office. Sign up for text alerts, they add, or set up security cameras.