PLEASANTON (KPIX) — ‘Tis the season for so-called “porch pirates” to be stealing unsecured holiday packages from outside of homes. But now there is a service that can provide human guards monitoring security cameras outside your home or business in real time.

That service provided by the Bay Area-based security company Deep Sentinel. In addition to 24/7 monitoring, the service includes a speaker that allows the guard to warn would-be thieves that they are being captured on video and police are being notified. The speaker can also emit a loud alarm.

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Deep Sentinal is helping stop porch pirates in their tracks. Once example was a recent encounter outside a home in San Francisco that was lit up for the holidays with a package on the porch, eye candy to a burglar.

“That was on a busy street in front of a townhome and and somebody just walked up and tried to steal a package,” explained Deep Sentinel Security spokesperson Tomasz Borys. “And right then and there, the guard was able to intervene, spook them and they left.”

Borys says thieves don’t take time off and are more brazen than ever now.

“Yes, there is definitely a surge in package thefts,” he said. “I’ve had a couple instances where we were able to get law enforcement within minutes and capture the perpetrator.”

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The post-pandemic rise in crime includes the recent smash-and-grab flash mob robberies happening at retail stores across the Bay Area and an increase in shoplifting. The rampant thefts have retail stores and even supermarkets like Safeway working on ways to curtail escalating loss.

“We have been seeing — in terms of businesses — not just one individual, but it’s a group of individuals,” said Borys.

And with this increase in crime comes more requests for private security.

“More and more businesses are coming to us saying, “Hey, we want 24/7 security,'” explained Borys.

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Of course, there is always the old-fashioned way of simply asking a neighbor to pick up your package once it’s delivered on your front porch.

Juliette Goodrich