Props to the Cops – Package Theft Arrests

Photo by PoPville flickr user KJinDC

From MPD:

“Good afternoon, today, Third District members working in a covert capacity were able to apprehend and arrest two suspects for stealing packages at two different locations. In the first incident, officers observed a suspect in the vicinity of the 1200 block of S Street, N.W. This suspect was riding a bicycle and carrying a box believed to be stolen. An investigation revealed that the recovered items were, in fact, stolen and the suspect was arrested and the property recovered.

In the second instance, a suspect was observed in the vicinity of the 1600 block of Florida Avenue, N.W. carrying two large packages believed to be stolen. When approached by officers, the suspect admitted to stealing the packages and was placed under arrest.

In both of these incidents, officers were addressing increased reports of package thefts and they were knowledgeable of theft patterns and suspect descriptions previously provided by citizens. As always, the MPD appreciates the community’s support and we ask that you remain vigilant. Thank you.”

14 Comment

  • Does every MPD district do this? There have been a ton of package thefts along 13th St in North Columbia Heights by Spring Rd, but believe all the cops have done is respond. No arrests.

    • I live in the 3rd District, so I can’t say how other districts respond. That said, I think the 3rd district’s response is fed in part by citizens’ own involvement. For example, citizens reporting package thefts and providing information to the police to help build cases. I had a package stolen a few weeks ago in Shaw and could not have been more impressed with the police response — an officer came to my house within minutes, took a report and asked about any security cameras that may have caught the thief in action. He also said that he knew of nearby places where thieves left the contents of packages they didn’t want and said he would look for my items there. (No luck, FWIW.) The officer seemed very knowledgeable and was simply waiting for the break he needed to find the guys that did it. It sounds like he and his team may have found one yesterday. Props to the cops for sure.

      • Thank you 3rd District Police for cleaning up our streets a bit!

        Theft Ring…I can believe it. I once saw a man (who appeared to be homeless) selling “questionable” merchandise in the McDonalds on 14th & U. (Appeared to be offering the merchandise, in a brown paper bag, to the cashier).

        • Wow. I am impressed. Ive tried to report package thefts as well as other crime in Petworth and have been less than impressed. Half the time they make me feel like its my fault!

  • Glad to hear it! Package theft has been very high on my block, right between these two locations.

  • I live in 4th District, and yes package theft happens here all the time, too. A while back I saw a guy pick up a neighbor’s package across the street, and MPD responded within minutes; don’t know if they found him, though. In my case, the guy looked homeless. I’m sure that’s not the case across the board. But you gotta wonder what the real payoff is to stealing other peoples’ packages: it’s not like 99.9% are receiving something valuable enough to turn over or pawn.

    • It’s sort of like Christmas morning – you never know what you’ll get once you open the box. It might be a crappy used book or it might be an iPad. These guys will take anything and try to sell it to someone in their neighborhood for a few bucks.
      My guess is that some of the more sophisticated thieves are also selling on Craigslist and eBay. It wouldn’t surprise me if there’s an organized package theft ring.

  • Mug of Glop

    Maybe this is the fellow that stole some package from my building a couple blocks south of this last week. Two boxes on the porch – one mine – were sliced open. I was lucky in that the thief wasn’t terribly interested in ten pounds of cutting board, but the other package recipient wasn’t so fortunate.

  • Dumb question, but have cops considered working with some residents do place decoy boxes with trackers inside them to see if they can nab some of these criminals? Could be done in a sting operation or even just to gather data about where the criminals/contents eventually end up.

  • Glad to hear this as well. I’ve noticed when I get UPS deliveries it is placed out of sight on the porch. Fedx usually leaves packages in sight, by the door or on porch edge. I’ve complained but it still happens.

  • Great job, MPD! So grateful that they seem to be cleaning up this area!

  • I’m surprised more owners of SFHs don’t place a locking outdoor storage bench (or even a large wooden lock box) on their front porch. There’s plenty of sizes and styles available and they can be acquired for less than $200. Keep the bench/box unlocked and then instruct the delivery person to lock the box after placing the package inside.
    Seems like such a simple solution to the package theft problem.

    • Simple…except. I can’t even get the FedEx guy to knock on the door or ring the bell. Just dumps the package over the low (unlocked) fence/gate and leaves it. Calling FedEx does not help; they defend the practice. So if you can’t even get them to knock on the door, how are you going to get them to lock a storage bench.

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