West Seattle Crime Watch: Package-theft alert

November 21, 2013 at 4:38 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 36 Comments

As police warned during the most recent West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meetings, approaching holidays tend to mean increasing package theft. From Seaview, POC reports:

Today I witnessed the theft of a UPS package from my neighbors’ porch. I saw UPS deliver the package and also noted a suspicious vehicle pass by. Within minutes of the UPS truck pulling away, I saw the suspect vehicle circle back around the block and park in front of their house. The driver casually stood outside his vehicle and acted like he was arranging items in the back seat of the SUV. Then he turned and walked up the sidewalk and picked up the package. I ran out and yelled at him but he continued to his vehicle. I was able to photograph the vehicle with its license plate and filed a police report. The USPS delivery man also witnessed the act and called the police. This is not a secluded porch and the thief did not appear concerned that people were around.

Location is in the 5400 block of 46th Ave SW. Vehicle was an older gray Dodge Durango 4×4 with one male occupant. It appeared that there were numerous other items in the back of his SUV.

36 Comments

  1. This is why I ship all my packages to my work now. Hope this guy gets nabbed and your neighbor gets his/her stuff back!

    Comment by Greta — 5:21 pm November 21, 2013 #

  2. Thank you, excellent, so great that you were able to get pix of the vehicle and license plate—seems that should insure an arrest for this crime.
    Is it still true that tampering with mail is penalized heavily, I wonder, and hope.

    Comment by pupsarebest — 5:23 pm November 21, 2013 #

  3. Unfreaginbelievable. I wonder with this brashness if the car wasn’t stolen? Either that, or this guy doesn’t think anything will happen to him even if caught.

    Is there a description of the actual guy?

    I also wonder if UPS does any kind of training or at least discussions for the drivers on this subject, or if UPS doesn’t care as long as they make their delivery money

    I also wonder if UPS had any

    Comment by Eric — 5:38 pm November 21, 2013 #

  4. Lock them up and throw the keys away.

    Comment by G — 5:51 pm November 21, 2013 #

  5. Did the person actually I take the package?
    Thank for being so we observent

    Comment by Concerned Neighbor — 6:08 pm November 21, 2013 #

  6. The thief probably wasn’t concerned because he knows he’s in Seattle and won’t do any time if/when he is caught. Being a postman, I have heard way too many stories from customers about their packages being stolen. When I’m out on my route I’ll ask my customers when I see them if they have a secure, hidden place they would prefer for me to place their packages if they aren’t home(back porch, behind recycle can etc.). Talk to your Postman, UPS guy or whoever is delivering your packages and let them know of a more secure place they can put your packages rather than your front porch. Most of us don’t mind making the extra effort to walk to the back of your house so your package doesn’t get stolen. Also, if it is something of great value, don’t risk it and get it sent with a signature confirmation so it can’t be left unless someone is there to sign for it. The thieves are out there especially this time of year so take precautions and you should be fine.

    Comment by a — 6:23 pm November 21, 2013 #

  7. I noticed a grey durango drive slowly through my alley(5900 of 41st s.w.) this afternoon. The man driving appeared clearly out of place and I’ve never seen him in our alley. He drove around the block and saw him again on Fauntleroy. Now I know what he was looking for-packages!

    Comment by linda08 — 6:40 pm November 21, 2013 #

  8. Yes, he did get the package. I spoke to the owner and it wasn’t anything of great value. I also wondered if the vehicle wasn’t stolen. He didn’t seem concerned to be seen. I did get a description and have given it to the police.

    BTW, I have a wonderful postal delivery person who never leaves packages at the front door but hides them on a side porch as I requested. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of consistency on who delivers and we have UPS, Fedex, OnTrac…

    I must also give high praise to the police officer who responded within minutes and took the matter very seriously. Kudos to SPD.

    Comment by POC — 6:55 pm November 21, 2013 #

  9. I have my UPS packages sent to the Customer Center on 7th. It’s very close to Costco. They require a government ID for pickup and it just gives me peace of mind that I know I’ll get my package. It’s sad that we have to do this.

    Comment by 2 Much Whine — 6:57 pm November 21, 2013 #

  10. I had a package stolen ar 12:45pm today from my doorstep today, 4800 block of 48th ave SW, about an hour after the package was delivered. Caught the action on camera, but not enough to see a face.

    Comment by Mike — 7:11 pm November 21, 2013 #

  11. Yes, thanks for being observant and proactive. Sometimes what’s in those packages is a matter of life and death. I couldn’t imagine how I’d feel if the cancer fighting supplements that my partner orders and then sends to her father (he has stomach cancer) overseas were stolen off our front porch. The supplements are not cheap, but they actually work. Insuring the package doesn’t help the person who needs the supplements pronto.

    I can’t put into words the disgust I feel for people who do this.

    Comment by G — 7:40 pm November 21, 2013 #

  12. Can you post a picture of the vehicle and a description of the suspect?

    Comment by Neighbor — 7:40 pm November 21, 2013 #

  13. Eric- I can’t speak for UPS but at the Postal Service they tell us to be on the look out for vehicles following you and report suspicious people to your supervisor and call the police if you see someone stealing mail. We are definitely aware of the spike in mail/package theft and are keeping our eyes out. We are usually in a hurry though, especially this time of year so unless you instruct us otherwise, your package will more than likely be left on the front porch where it is more likely to be stolen. Talk to your delivery person or if you never see them, call the station and explain to the supervisor that you don’t want packages left on your front porch and they will relay the message to your carrier advising him/her not to do so. The law isn’t doing much to prosecute these thieves so we need to be extra vigilant and look out for each other and take the necessary steps to avoid being victims.

    Comment by a — 8:05 pm November 21, 2013 #

  14. Is it possible for You to post the pics of the car and license plate so everyone can be on the look out? For that matter, post it in public places so the whole community can be on the lookout.

    Comment by Chris — 9:51 pm November 21, 2013 #

  15. Man, and I thought I was having a problem the other way, with the postman NOT leaving packages at my door, forcing me to repeatedly pick them up at the post office. I guess the “solution” of routing them to my work is the best option, but geez! This area (next door to Denny Middle and Chief Sealth) seemed so nice and quite before I moved here. Now I’m wishing I could have stayed up on Queen Anne Hill. Almost 40 years there and never had one package go missing.

    Comment by DarkHawke — 10:24 pm November 21, 2013 #

  16. darkhawke the area next to sealth and Denny is not the greatest area and it has gotten worse in my opinion but don’t kid yourself and think that Queen Anne is great and exempt from crime and package theft. Last I checked there are plenty of homeless and drug addicts there that would love for you to be naive enough to think they wouldn’t steal from you

    Comment by a — 11:16 pm November 21, 2013 #

  17. It was my home that the package was stolen from as discussed in this blog entry. Although the package contents are replaceable and they didn’t get anything of high value, the fact that this happened at all makes me angry that people have this much time on their hands to drive around and steal from other people. I do believe this man will be caught… If not by the police, by karma. I am very appreciative of our vigilant neighbors and I hope we can all watch out for each other like this. It’s unnerving to think this would happen in my nice neighborhood… But I don’t think it matters where you live… Sometimes people just SUCK! We will most likely be installing a security system of some kind in hopes of deterring future theft.

    Comment by Gabrielle — 7:48 am November 22, 2013 #

  18. So the police had the description of the vehicle and a license plate number and a witness. Did they do anything?

    Comment by Tony — 8:35 am November 22, 2013 #

  19. Two witnesses, evidently.

    Comment by bolo — 9:29 am November 22, 2013 #

  20. Preordered Xbox Ones are being delivered today. I’m sure the bandits will be out in full force.

    Comment by biankat — 11:52 am November 22, 2013 #

  21. Yes, the police have a photo of the vehicle with the license plate visible and a good description of the thief.

    KiroTV just stopped by to interview me and said they will run a story on package theft based on this event. They said that SPD has encouraged them to get the word out to alert people since the holiday deliveries are arriving. Do not know when the story will be aired but they also have a photo of the suspects vehicle and they may run it.

    Comment by POC — 1:47 pm November 22, 2013 #

  22. This is what you get with liberal laws that do not look at “property crimes” as serious infractions. You might as well get used to it, it will not stop until tougher laws are put in place.

    Comment by marty — 7:19 pm November 22, 2013 #

  23. If you work downtown, there is a new Amazon where they will have a package delivered, on an expedited basis, to computerized lockers in central locations like the Pacific Place Mall. They’ll send you a code to enter at the kiosk then the locker door will open.

    Comment by madashell — 8:50 pm November 22, 2013 #

  24. This is very unfortunate, but on the upside, it encourages me to do my holiday shopping locally, rather than online.

    Comment by J — 3:26 am November 23, 2013 #

  25. It’s funny that some people think the police would take action on this with only an eye witness account, and photos catching him in the act, to go on. They will not.

    Comment by Alex — 10:39 am November 23, 2013 #

  26. I had a package stolen off of my porch on Wednesday. Weird thing is I had two packages delivered at the same time, but the thief only took one although they were sitting side by side and of similar, smallish size. (I verified with my long-time postal carrier that he did indeed deliver two packages). Fortunately the shipper considered it “lost in transit” and gave me refund. I suppose it’s considered a cost of business and these thefts are factored into the price of their goods. Still pisses me off

    Comment by Chad — 10:51 am November 23, 2013 #

  27. What is the license plate number of the Durango? Any other identifying features? Like tinted windows, was the driver white, old/young – more details please!

    Comment by Michael — 10:53 am November 23, 2013 #

  28. UPS has a program called ‘UPS My Choice’ whereby UPS e-mails you the day before a package is scheduled to be delivered and the approximate time. You can request an alternate delivery location or have the package held at the UPS location. Go to the UPS website and sign up.

    Comment by alki jack — 1:58 pm November 23, 2013 #

  29. It doesn’t help much to have things delivered to hidden spots on your property if the thieves are following the delivery trucks – and I have heard of this happening many times. If you can have things delivered to work (or to an Amazon Locker or UPS hub location) that’s safer: if not, maybe neighbors can band together if some are home weekdays to take deliveries for folks on their block or something. Since the law doesn’t seem to be a deterrent, anyway.

    Comment by MMB — 3:30 pm November 23, 2013 #

  30. I’m very, very pessimistic that anything is going to change. And now we have another type of crime that I don’t remember being as much of a problem in West Seattle a decade ago – stealing packages. One wonders why they are paying taxes.

    Comment by G — 6:00 pm November 23, 2013 #

  31. *we are paying taxes.

    Comment by G — 6:47 pm November 23, 2013 #

  32. My uncle used to have the same problem. During a garbage strike, he would wrap up his trash really nicely and leave it in his truck bed. When he came back from work, it was always gone. Now that’s karma.

    Comment by Tonari — 8:41 am November 25, 2013 #

  33. ugh…. you would think that having things shipped to work would be the answer… until it isn’t..
    why oh why do online retailers have either fedex and UPS deliver things to USPS and then expect USPS to deliver things properly. USPS doesn’t care. supposedly USPS delivered my package- to a secure building on Saturday. good one. basically that means it was just sitting on the street. like that is helpful.

    on that note, has anyone in West Seattle found a zulily box w/ a purple gdiaper and a dozen cloth diaper inserts floating around? I was really hoping to start saving money on diapers but this just sucks.

    Comment by sam-c — 10:28 am November 25, 2013 #

  34. another note, on that note… I guess I am ALL FOR USPS giving up Saturday delivery if they can’t use their common sense in cases like this. maybe they should just go ahead and do it.

    Comment by sam-c — 11:04 am November 25, 2013 #

  35. I can speak for UPS that all drivers (and their seasonal helpers) receive training on being aware of their surroundings for vehicles following them and also to leave packages out of sight from the streets and side walks. If you have a specific location you’d like your deliveries to be left please let your UPS driver know next time you see them. An earlier comment mentioned UPS MyChoice. This service will alert you when a package is shipped in your name to your address, will alert you when it’s out for delivery and will also alert you when it’s delivered. If you can’t your packages shipped to your work, MyChoice can give you some flexibility. There’s also always the option of having your packages sent directly to the UPS warehouse in Sodo and held there to be picked up.

    The police are well aware of the package and mail theft issues all over Seattle. If you see a theft occur please call 911 to report it. They will respond just like in this situation. Also if it’s a theft of a known UPS package, please call 1-800-PICK-UPS to report it. The local delivery center will be notified and they have the ability to communicate with the drivers in the area to take additional precautions.

    Last year there were 4 individuals arrested in the south end of West Seattle after a home owner witnessed theft and called 911.

    Comment by BrianC — 4:42 pm November 25, 2013 #

  36. I just had 2 packages stolen from my front porch. UPS delivered them at 4:58pm. I’ve been on hold for over 40 minutes waiting to report this to UPS. it’s unfortunate as this is the first time this has happened. I’ve had many packages delivered to my home… never again…

    Comment by SW — 7:10 pm December 11, 2013 #

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