UPDATE: Less than 24 hours after two thieves stole packages from a Chattanooga family's home, police have arrested them.

Officers said surveillance video from that home on Snow Street helped catch them. Cathy Bryson and Melvin Ray now face theft charges in the case.

Captured on camera, thieves stole two packages from a Northshore home within seconds on Wednesday. Just an hour earlier, the mailman delivered the boxes containing makeup and toys.

"Anger, really. Me and my girlfriend work very hard," Bob VanScoten told Channel 3.

VanScoten said he was expecting presents for his three kids. He reported it to police immediately.

What surprised him the most was that he's seen these people before.

"The audacity that these people in the neighborhood would have the guts to walk up and take something off my porch knowing who I am, knowing that I know who they are," VanScoten said.

As soon as the thieves walked on the porch, VanScoten received a notification on his phone letting him know who was at the door.

More people are buying security cameras to protect their packages and catch the people who manage to get away with them.

"We're getting so many more things that are delivered to your front door that it absolutely gives you a peace of mind knowing the fact that your stuff is not going to get stolen because you've got something to be able to protect it," Danny Tolleson of Turner Security said.

Tolleson showed Channel 3 another type of security camera that goes on your door bell. An app helps monitor your home from your smart phone.

"We simply just tell them that the police are on the way and please don't take the package, they're on video camera," Tolleson said.

With the help of VanScoten's security camera, police arrested Cathy Bryson and Melvin Ray.

"I hope that them being arrested will prevent it from happening again in the future to myself or my neighbors," VanScoten said.

VanScoten said he has not gotten those packages back. Part of the gifts will be replaced.

On top of installing a security camera, Chattanooga police have several ways you can decrease your risk of becoming a package theft victim:

  • Track your shipment online
  • Choose a shipping option that requires a signature upon delivery
  • Arrange to ship the package to a third party. Someone who's typically home during the day or a place of business.
  • Ask delivery service to hold the package for pick-up at their facility
  • Make sure the typical drop-off location at your home is well lit
  • Tell the delivery driver where to leave the package, somewhere less obvious and/or visible

Chattanooga police said there have been 567 theft incidents. That's down from this time last year when 637 theft incidents happened.

Those incidents include robbery, burglary, theft from a building, and theft from a vehicle. 

Channel 3 found out security cameras can run anywhere from forty bucks to a couple hundred depending on what kind you get. Some also have a monthly fee to store your video.


Two people were arrested Thursday and charged with theft after police say they stole packages from a Chattanooga home's front porch, less than a day after the incident.

Video evidence combined with police having a familiarity with the suspects led to the arrest of Melvin Ray and Cathy Bryson.

The two were captured on a surveillance camera taking packages from a home's front porch Wednesday.

Chattanooga police offer tips for preventing package theft:

  • Track your shipment online
  • Choose a shipping option that requires a signature upon delivery
  • Arrange to ship the package to a third party. Someone who's typically home during the day or a place of business.
  • Ask delivery service to hold the package for pick-up at their facility
  • Make sure the typical drop-off location at your home is well lit
  • Tell the delivery driver where to leave the package, somewhere less obvious and/or visible
  • Install cameras