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Porch pirates: Your home delivery may be stolen

WATCH ABOVE: Retailers promise fast home delivery and easy returns. But as more Canadians buy goods online, more thieves are finding a way to snag those packages from your door. Sean O'Shea reports.

More and more Canadians are skipping the store line and buying products online for home delivery. It’s frequently more convenient and often less expensive than travelling out to make a purchase for everything from clothing to groceries.

But increasingly, items delivered to homeowners are vanishing when the packages are left on the front porch.

It happened to Ella Burakowski of Toronto recently. She said the theft happened the day after she ordered a medical thermometer for her husband who was feeling under the weather.

READ MORE: How to avoid the biggest security mistakes when buying online

Video from her front surveillance camera appears to show the package was delivered. But when she got home, it wasn’t there.

“Within half an hour someone came up on the porch and took it,” said Burakowski.

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The porch pirate was caught on camera. The person who took the package appeared to be a tall woman with blond hair and wearing dark sunglasses.

“I saw a woman coming from the side of the house, bending over, picking up the package, turning around, looking into the camera and leaving,” Burakowski said while describing the video she shared with Global News.

Burakowski reported the theft to Toronto police and shared the video on social media. She said the video was viewed more than 100,000 times.

Companies like Amazon don’t require signatures from homeowners, so delivery people leave boxes or bags of goods outside homes. Some delivery companies may require confirmations from recipients depending on the type of shipment method.

Other consumers have reported missing packages that showed a confirmed delivery.

READ MORE: Christmas parcel thefts caught on camera in south Edmonton

Some who frequently receive packages place notes on their doors asking drivers to knock when they arrive while others have a place for packages to be placed. Frequently, where possible, items are left between a front door and a screen door.

Burakowski said Amazon immediately credited her account when she called to report that the package had been stolen. She said they did not ask to see her video images. Burakowski said she wants to warn other consumers about the risks.

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“My goal was to let people know this is happening,” she said.

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