Video appears to show theft of TVs from front porch of north side home

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Police are searching for a pair of alleged porch pirates caught on camera.  Police say surveillance video shows a pair of television sets being stolen after delivery to a north side home—and the alleged theft was caught on camera.

According to the incident report from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the theft happened just after 6:40 p.m. Friday at a home in the 4300 block of Carrollton Avenue.

The homeowner told CBS4 that Amazon delivered a pair of TVs earlier in the day and left them undisguised on the front porch. About an hour after they were delivered, two people stole them.

Surveillance video appears to show the men taking the TVs right off the porch and running away as neighbors looked on.

"My neighbor called me and said, 'Someone just ran off with your televisions,'" said the victim Dwayne Abernathy.

The victim told CBS4 he runs a security company and planned to install the TVs at a church. He’s frustrated no measures were taken to obscure the televisions, such as putting them in generic boxes.

Because the televisions shipped from a third party seller through Amazon, they came inside their original boxes and not in a plain brown Amazon box.

"You know how people do a yard sale and whatever’s left over they put on the curb and put a free sign on there?  That’s what they should have done with the televisions, set them on the curb and say free, because they just came up and just took them," said Abernathy.

According to an Amazon spokesperson, there are lots of ways for customers to keep their packages safe from porch pirates.

Buyers can schedule deliveries with the shipping company, add special delivery instructions or arrange for pickup locations including at an Amazon Hub Locker.

The key is to be proactive because package thefts are a crime of opportunity.

Dwayne was able to get a refund for the stolen items, but he wishes the safety steps recommended by Amazon were more prominently displayed on their website.

He also hopes the men caught on camera are arrested and taught that crime doesn’t pay.

"On Amazon there should be a big old box that you can’t miss that says you can't buy this without signing for it.  Outside of that it’s like buyer beware," said Abernathy. "Nothing is safe.  These guys will come and steal stuff and have no concern for anybody in the neighborhood or anything."

As always anyone with information on the suspects seen in the surveillance video can contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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