Homeowner's voice through surveillance technology startles would-be porch pirate

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A suspect was just about to steal a package off a front porch, but got spooked when he heard the homeowner's voice.

On Friday, around 2:15 p.m., the owner -- who wasn't home at the time -- received a security notification on his phone that someone was on his property, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office. His home is located on Fitzgerald Road in Lakeland.

Via his surveillance camera, the homeowner saw the suspect rummaging through the items on his front porch. The technology had another trick, though. The homeowner was able to speak to the suspect through his phone and security camera, asking, "Can I help you?"

The question seemed to startle the suspect, and he is seen in the video dropping the package he was -- most likely -- about to steal, investigators said.

The suspect is described as a white man, about 5-foot-9 and 130 pounds, with shaved brown hair. Anyone with information on the suspect's identity or whereabouts is asked to call the Polk County Sheriff's Office at 863-499-2400. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477.