If that gift you ordered online hasn't arrived yet, it may not be the shippers fault. The latest trend by thieves in many states is to simply walk up to your front porch, pick up your package, and brazenly walk away with it. As reported by ABC News, this season over 1.3 billion packages will be shipped to consumers who ordered gifts, and thieves are taking advantage of this.
In San Diego, a woman showed up driving a U-Haul truck to use as a decoy to carry off various packages that she stole, as reported by CCTV. A West Virginia woman was caught on film stealing packages off the porch, and even had the audacity to steal the homeowner's wreath off their door.
But savvy home owners are fighting back by installing cameras, and with the power of social media, they are posting video images of the crime to help capture the thieves. Fortunately these cases resulted in the so-called "Grinches" being arrested and packages and wreaths were returned to the owners. Another such case in Texas involved a couple who were stealing packages from Northwest Dallas and Highland Park porches as reported by the Dallas Morning News and Fox 4 News.
According to police, the woman seen in the surveillance video captured by homeowners is Priscilla Castaneda, and the man driving the Ford Explorer is 26-year-old Jessie Dominguez. Police say they received "numerous phone tips" about the suspects' identities after the videos started making the rounds on social media and TV. Working off those tips, detectives discovered that Castaneda had paid several visits to a pawn shop this week. In fact, police say, she showed up on December 17 with a smoker still in the box — just like the one taken off a homeowner's front porch that very day. The pawn shop didn't take it because it was still in the box, unopened.
Detectives then paid Castaneda a visit at her house, and arrested her for outstanding warrants. She was taken to the police stations investigative unit, where, police say, she "admitted that she was the suspect seen on camera taking the property off the theft victim's porch without permission." But she didn't tell them what she'd done with it. Around the same time, police say, Dominguez was stopped for a traffic violation and was seen "holding a marijuana cigarette in his hand in plain view." Officers also found property in the back of the Explorer they believe belongs to victims. But either way, police say, he admitted to being the driver of the Explorer seen in those videos. He also copped to stealing other packages in Dallas and Highland Park.
In a recent story reported by the Inquisitr, an 8-year old was caught on camera stealing packages from a neighbor.