West Seattle Crime Watch: Package thefts thwarted

December 16, 2013 at 11:56 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 34 Comments

(UPDATED 1:08 PM: Second attempted theft added)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 11:56 AM: With holiday deliveries peaking this week, it’s unfortunately also prime time for package thieves. One would-be thief was thwarted in West Seattle this morning, per a reader report we just received. It actually relates to something we tweeted after hearing a scanner snippet:

An hour after that – just minutes ago – this note came in:

Thanks to a very alert neighbor and a prompt response by police, package was recovered. A neighbor saw a dark blue Honda sedan following the mail carrier, Asian youth got out of the car, went up to the porch and took a package and began to leave, neighbor shouted at him to put it back, he dropped the package, police responded quickly. Just a reminder these guys are out looking to spoil Christmas. I would also like to thank aware neighbors, quick police response, and the mail carriers who put the mail all the way in the mailboxes.

Haven’t heard of an arrest yet but we’ll keep the radar up.

ADDED 1:08 PM: Phillip sends word of another thwarted theft:

I just caught a guy trying to steal a package right off my porch in the middle of the day! I’ve called SPD and gave them a general description, but thought I’d share with WSB too. I’m in Luna Park (30th & Nevada).

I saw/heard USPS drop the package off, but hadn’t run out to grab it yet. Then, about 30 minutes later, I heard someone else, and this guy (picture) was grabbing my package and stuffing it in his red duffel bag.

When I confronted him he said that someone had “told him to drop it off here, as it was mistakenly delivered around the corner.” Mid-day! So brazen! SPD stopped by and said they hadn’t found him (yet) but it’s worth keeping a lookout.

34 Comments

  1. Yay to the alert neighbor! We had a very kind mail package thief who opened our amazon delivery and left the package intact when he/she found the contents perhaps undesirable (elmo doll)? We were lucky. This happened near Trader Joes neighborhood. Just a good reminder to keep eyes open!

    Comment by jenfin — 12:15 pm December 16, 2013 #

  2. What an utter cowardly, despicable act.

    Comment by G — 12:29 pm December 16, 2013 #

  3. I just emailed you another one! Attempted theft at 30th&Nevada.. I got him red handed, but he walked off with a stammering excuse. Took a picture..

    Comment by Phillip — 12:30 pm December 16, 2013 #

  4. We got hit last Wednesday between 4pm and 6 pm on 26th Ave SW. We have a pretty long driveway (at least 3 or 4 car lengths) they had to be fairly bold to walk up and down our long driveway fully exposed. Packages left on the front step aren’t very visible from the street so they must have been tailing the UPS driver too.

    Incidentally, if you get hit by these thieves don’t bother calling UPS to report your theft. It literally takes hours to get through to the appropriate operator and basically all they do is advise you to contact the shipper…

    Comment by tony — 12:50 pm December 16, 2013 #

  5. Great job keeping an eye out. The nightly news reports on these crimes all the time and I thought it was overblown…but this close call is not far from us.

    Comment by J — 1:04 pm December 16, 2013 #

  6. Philip, that guy looks familiar. Did he have an Eastern European accent by any chance? Long shot, but thought I’d ask.

    Comment by breezy — 1:47 pm December 16, 2013 #

  7. We were home the other day when a delivery person just dropped off the box in front of our door. I think they should be held responsible if we are responsible enough to be home waiting for our package if they DON’T EVEN KNOCK to alert us the package has arrived. Especially given that they should now expect they are being followed and the package is going to be stolen immediately. My mom, at this very minute, is home waiting for a package that is supposed be delivered today. I hope she doesn’t have to use the bathroom. KNOCK, KNOCK or u pay delivery boy.

    Comment by Chris — 1:50 pm December 16, 2013 #

  8. That car is parked illegally too. Closer than 5 feet from the driveway and parking on the wrong side of the street, unless it’s a one way street.

    Comment by neener — 2:03 pm December 16, 2013 #

  9. Invite them to my house… They’ll get a nasty surprise.

    Comment by beaglenut — 2:13 pm December 16, 2013 #

  10. Phillip, in the photo it’s hard to see his black eye and bloody nose.

    Comment by SomeGuy — 2:13 pm December 16, 2013 #

  11. I’m in Fremont, but I’ve had mail stolen from my porch SO many times in the past year and a half. I’ve started having it all delivered to my friends office since I don’t have mail access at my salon. Last week someone made off with my whole buildings outgoing mail – including some Etsy orders I was shipping out (which luckily I was able to remake) and everyones rent checks!

    Comment by Chivahn — 2:37 pm December 16, 2013 #

  12. Good work people!

    Where are the police??!! Half of the time I see them they look disinterested, or have their heads buried in igadgets and not even paying attention to their surroundings. How about a “package” sting?? A little more aggressive, preventative policing too much to ask for?

    Not impressed by the SPD.

    Comment by G — 2:42 pm December 16, 2013 #

  13. Has anyone made a lockbox for their porch? I was thinking of doing something like that, build a nice wooden box with hinges, put an open lock on it the day I’m expecting a package, have UPS put the package in and click the lock shut? I have a nice nook on my porch that I store my spare lawn chair where they usually hide my packages and a low picket fence around the yard with a gate so I don’t generally get intruders on my porch but I could easily make a nice sized box to fill the corner with a hinged lid and lock.

    Comment by trickycoolj — 3:20 pm December 16, 2013 #

  14. A coworker of mine who also lives in WS had a package stolen. He like many of you have since installed cameras. I have one coming, ironically from amazon by UPS. Once I get it, I know I will not be able to resist the urge to “bait the trap”. If enough of us got some good pictures, perhaps SPD would be forced to make some arrests. A no trespassing sign will assist in that process as well. Seems that thievery alone doesn’t warrant arrest in these parts.

    Comment by BurlGT — 3:32 pm December 16, 2013 #

  15. To philip

    I’m 98% positive who that man is and I can provide you with a name to give to police please ask TR to connect you with me.

    Is that possible, considering the subject matter, I would like to not publish contact information publicly.

    Comment by Concerned — 4:15 pm December 16, 2013 #

  16. You can set up alerts with both UPS and FedEx online; you get an email the day before a package is delivered so you know to be expecting it. You can choose to have it delivered at a different time/to a different address or to be held at one of their offices for you. I had a package stolen last year; the only reason I even knew about it was because they threw the empty box in my neighbor’s yard.

    Comment by Michelle — 4:55 pm December 16, 2013 #

  17. Concerned,
    You should contact the police. They are going to want to hear it from you and likely ask a few questions.

    Comment by Alan — 5:03 pm December 16, 2013 #

  18. if you are going to bait them fill the pacage with grout dye. It is very hard to wash off. Or just fill it with candy spiked with laxitves.

    Comment by boy — 5:34 pm December 16, 2013 #

  19. Amazon has the Delivery Lockers option for some deliveries. It’s a nice option to avoid these jerks.

    Comment by Cheryl — 5:40 pm December 16, 2013 #

  20. Whatever happened to the campaign to leave boxes full of garbage on our front porches? I really liked that suggestion . . . smelly, old, post-dog walk garbage. . . The boxes could be disposed of easily if the bait isn’t taken. Citizens, rise up!

    Comment by Margaret in Vashon — 5:55 pm December 16, 2013 #

  21. We were victims a couple of days ago… 4500 block of Hemlock Way. Lame!!!! Unfortunately for the thieves, it was a shipment of diet shakes. And we got free replacements.

    Comment by Thermo — 6:12 pm December 16, 2013 #

  22. Don’t tread on me Mofo! I’ll knock yer block off!

    Comment by big doug — 6:29 pm December 16, 2013 #

  23. After worrying about getting things stolen off our porch I have my packages delivered to my wife’s business. I set it as my default address for Amazon. I make sure it has my name on it so she doesn’t open something that might be a surprise for her or the folks at her store open it by mistake and put it on the shelf!

    Comment by timh2o — 6:32 pm December 16, 2013 #

  24. I frequently find my neighbors pilfered mail infront of my house. This morning it was christmas cards. All the cards were right infront of my house and all the envelopes were up the block a ways. I work from home so I’m always here when my packages arrive and If I don’t actually meet them at the door they always ring the bell. ( USPS, UPS, and fedX) If I ever caught someone on my property stealing stuff it wouldn’t go well for them. I’m not affraid of confrontation and my intent is probably greater than theirs.

    Comment by sophista-tiki — 7:03 pm December 16, 2013 #

  25. YAY! That’s teamwork at its best! Finally one of these grinches has been caught! If I caught somebody doing that, I’d kick their ass! And I’m only 5’2″, but I would be so mad it wouldn’t matter!!!

    Comment by Candace McCutcheon — 3:11 am December 17, 2013 #

  26. I was thinking of sending myself one of those exploding cans of fake snakes via UPS and then watching one of these twerps steal and maybe even open it!

    Comment by Candace McCutcheon — 3:15 am December 17, 2013 #

  27. Just remember if its a package delivered by USPS, it’s a federal crime. Higher profile theft, more penalty for the criminal.

    Comment by Mike — 5:57 am December 17, 2013 #

  28. Phillip,
    I’m curious to know if you called out for help or otherwise tried to make a commotion when you confronted the thief? Or were you too concerned about your personal safety to attempt that? I realize it’s always easy for posters to have all kinds of clever ideas about how they’d deal with a threatening situation, but as is often said, “you had to be there.”

    Comment by JTB — 9:09 am December 17, 2013 #

  29. I have reported this to the police. Earlier today saw (approx 11:25am) a white 4dr sedan possibly a small old Cadillac with a solid blue Montana license plate #27-6195B. Driver was a black man mid-twenties with shoulder length dread locks….sound familiar?? He was spotted stealing mail a few weeks ago by someone reporting on the West Seattle Blog.

    Well, the driver and 2 occupants drove real slow down the alley between 38th and 37th heading south from Graham to Morgan. I got into my car to follow. I saw two black guys early twenties get out of this car near 38th and Graham. I followed the car and got the license plate. The car continued to circle the block down Morgan then up Morgan etc. I drove down 38th Ave SW and saw the two guys that got out of the car talking to someone on their front porch. My guess is the scoped the house out and decided to see if anyone was home. One guy was on his cell phone the whole time. They were both wearing black jackets, one with dark blue jeans and one with blue – blue jeans. One guy approx 5’-7” the other approx 5’-10” short cropped black hair one with red/white sneakers.

    After they talked to the homeowner they walked south not bothering to knock on anymore doors. They walked east on Morgan then got picked up by the guy in the white car!!! They drove south on 38th from there and I stopped the pursuit for my own safety.

    BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THIS VEHICLE! REPORT TO THE POLICE IF SOMEONE IS LOOKING FOR THEIR DOG AT JUST YOUR HOUSE!

    Comment by cityboy222 — 3:33 pm December 17, 2013 #

  30. Earlier today a white 4dr sedan possibly a small old Cadillac with a solid dark blue out of state license plate #—6195B. Driver was a black man mid-twenties with shoulder length dread locks….sound familiar?? He was spotted stealing mail a few weeks ago by someone reporting on the West Seattle Blog.

    Well, the driver and 2 occupants drove real slow down the alley between 38th and 37th heading south from Graham to Morgan. I got into my car to follow. I saw two black guys early twenties get out of this car near 38th and Graham. I followed the car and got the license plate. The car continued to circle the block down Morgan then up Morgan etc. I drove down 38th Ave SW and saw the two guys that got out of the car talking to someone on their front porch. My guess is the scoped the house out and decided to see if anyone was home. One guy was on his cell phone the whole time. They were both wearing black jackets, one with dark blue jeans and one with blue – blue jeans. One guy approx 5’-7” the other approx 5’-10” short cropped black hair one with red/white sneakers.

    After they talked to the homeowner they walked south not bothering to knock on anymore doors. They walked east on Morgan then got picked up by the guy in the white car!!! They drove south on 38th from there and I stopped the pursuit for my own safety.

    BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THIS VEHICLE! REPORT TO THE POLICE IF SOMEONE LOOKS EVEN REMOTELY SUSPICIOUS! PLEASE! IT’S EASY – 911

    Comment by cityboy222 — 4:01 pm December 17, 2013 #

  31. A couple days ago in my neighborhood, Fairmount Park, I had actually witnessed a mail carrier who tried (and failed) to throw a package onto a porch. She stood about three feet from the bottom stair and tossed the package towards the door.However, the box just fell down the stairs onto the walkway and Ms USPS just left it without giving two turds. WHAT?!?!?!?!?! Who does that?
    Usually mail carriers and USPS drivers are pretty good at trying to hide packages, but apparently they are overworked during the holiday season.

    Comment by Mer — 5:43 pm December 17, 2013 #

  32. Cityboy222 – those are the same guys I saw breaking into a house on Orchard Street a few weeks ago. Same car, same driver , same two accomplices . Did you talk to a police officer ? I would like to let them know these are same people I saw in case they catch them.

    Comment by Orchard — 8:20 pm December 17, 2013 #

  33. Whatever happened to the mail theft group that was caught last year? My brother and his fiance were hit today (up in Bothell); a dead-end street in a rural area, and someone opened the box on their porch and removed the contents, leaving the box. In the middle of the day. If they’re bold enough to do that, what’s to stop a home invasion? :(

    Comment by Bethers — 8:41 pm December 17, 2013 #

  34. Orchard – I called/reported but didn’t actually speak to an officer. I hope you reported your sighting. Our only defense is reporting and hopefully they’ll make the connection?

    Comment by Cityboy222 — 12:15 am December 18, 2013 #

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