Security cameras help reduce home burglaries in Philadelphia

Home burglaries in the City of Philadelphia are way down over the last five years. One probable reason may be the extra sets of electronic "eyes" all over the city.

They seem to be everywhere: Security cameras hugging the walls of row homes all over Philadelphia.

Natasha Pickett made her purchase back in April.

"When I lived in South Philly I had someone break into my front window," she said. "So I bought it shortly after that."

At home-improvement stores like the Lowe's on Columbus Boulevard the number and variety of home security cameras have exploded in what has become a billion-dollar industry.

"There are hundreds of choices," store manager Brandon McDonald explained. "Different vendors are getting involved. More product selection are becoming available. And what you're seeing is the fact that they tie into people's personal technology is what creates a very affordable, convenient means to provide additional security to someone's personal home."

Last week, FOX 29 showed you security camera footage of a City of Philadelphia recycling crew grabbing a package off the front steps of a home in Olde Richmond. The video quickly went viral.

Police tell FOX 29 the package was later returned and the homeowner is not expected to press charges.

But the cameras do seem to be making a difference. From 2011 through 2016, the number of residential burglaries in Philadelphia dropped by a whopping 43%.

"There really are cameras everywhere these days," Philadelphia Police Sgt. Eric Gripp said. "We are amazed by the amount of footage that is turned in to the police."

This time of year much of that footage features holiday home decoration thieves, like the man FOX 29 showed you Monday, cleaning out a display in South Philly.

As for Natasha Pickett's camera-- the one she bought an April?

"Just haven't installed it yet," she said with an embarrassed laugh. "That's next!"