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Catching burglary suspects on camera no longer requires hi-tech security for homeowners

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Protecting yourself from Christmas thieves!

It's that time of the year when they strike -- taking packages from porches, some stealing Christmas decorations.

Now catching them in the act no longer requires hi-tech security -- we're talking about home security cameras. 

Those who have their homes wired with cameras have them there for different reasons.  For some, it's to keep an eye on the kids or to keep an eye on their property while they're not home, but all say it's an added piece of mind.

Over the summer, Phoenix resident Tim Lake became 'internet famous' over a hilarious wanted poster he created after an unknown woman stole a package right off his doorstep.

The home security cameras he installed a few years ago -- captured her every move.

"I used to travel all the time and I needed a way to watch my house to make sure it hadn't burned down, I guess," he said.

Home surveillance systems have lowered in price and increased in quality and ease to install, making them more popular than ever.

These cameras have been beneficial for some valley residents in catching crooks in the act.  Take a look at a video from last month of a man stealing a Christmas wreath off a valley man's front door.  The video helped police nab the crook.

And a video was released to us from a Mesa woman.  She doesn't know if the woman in the video took her dog or was trying to help, but she hopes the video will help track her Chihuahua down.

"Anytime that you can get a picture of the suspect, especially when the suspect is the commission of a crime, that can be very powerful evidence and also help you locate the suspect," said Phoenix Police St. Tommy Thompson.

For those who own the cameras, it gives them a piece of mind.

These camera systems are fairly inexpensive -- ranging from a few hundred bucks up to $600.

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