Police: Man stealing packages from doorsteps

December 16, 2011 9:53:04 AM PST
Expecting a Christmas gift to arrive at your doorstep in the coming days? A Grinch could be waiting to swoop in and ruin your Christmas. It happens more than you may think, but rarely is the thief caught on video. Yet one West University homeowner managed to catch a Grinch in the act.

Christmas packages are being delivered all day during this time of the year. But in some cases, people aren't home to sign for them and that has police concerned, and you should be too.

The man you see getting out of this car is a guy West University Place police desperately want to get off the streets. He's caught on tape stealing a package from someone's porch.

"It happens quite often," West University Police Department Capt. Thad Olive said.

Capt. Olive says the culprit in this case was in a white car casing the 4200 block of Sunset on December 6. Police say he was looking for packages delivery services like UPS and FedEx were leaving behind unattended.

"Obviously the holiday season, the rates of delivery increase, therefore the rates of incidents of thefts off of front porches increase as well," Capt. Olive said.

West U police say 'tis the season. Right now, they're investigating several similar package theft complaints.

Neighbors like Lorraine Sterling say they're a bit surprised.

"Frequently UPS and Federal Express is usually leaving something here everyday, several times a day actually," Sterling said.

Driving around West U, Eyewitness News cameras spotted numerous packages left out and in plain view.

Police suggest anyone receiving a package should:

  • Communicate with neighbors so someone can pick-up the delivery in case you're not home
  • Set up delivery appointments for a specific date or time frame
  • Request packages be shipped to another address, like your job

As far as this accused thief's concerned, police describe him as a man in his 40's with salt and pepper hair. He was last seen driving a small, white two-door car.

"I'm going to clearly be looking out," Sterling said.

Police say the man may be linked to a series of similar package thefts in the West University area. Anyone with information about him is asked to contact West University Place police.


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