Theft victim shows how to set up security system practically for free

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DENVER -- A Curtis Park woman fed up with thieves stealing packages from her front porch did something about it.

She didn't go out and buy an expensive security system. She found one that didn't cost her a thing.

"They opened the packages and got the gifts out and crumbled up the gift note and threw it back into the empty box," said the Denver woman, who didn’t want to be identified.

So she used her outdated phone to set up a security system for free.

"It's not hard to set up and it's not expensive, especially if you have an old phone or tablet," she said.

She downloaded the free app Manything onto her old phone and current one. She created an account then hit camera and record.

"It doesn't actually record anything unless it detects motion,” she said.

It works off a home’s Wi-Fi and should stay plugged in so the battery doesn't run out.

"I put it in my window sill inside my living room," she said.

It records anyone who comes to her front door, then it sends her an alert. The video is stored in the cloud.

She got one Sunday with a video clip showing a stranger stealing her mail and some home decor from her front porch.

"The video worked. It detected the motion. It recorded her and I could see her face," the woman said.

It's too bad the family's other security system didn't see her face.

"My brother said, ‘What was Lola doing during all this?’" she said.

The family guesses their dog might have been asleep on the couch.

If you don’t have an old spare phone, maybe a relative does, or you can get one on Craigslist for cheap. Just make sure it has a working camera and can download apps.

The Denver Police Department and the U.S. Postal Service are investigating the theft. And thanks to the family, they have good video to go on.

“I do feel better. It’s nice. If something happens, I probably have it on video," the woman said.