Props to the Cops – “the person arrested has been linked to numerous package thefts throughout the Fifth District dating back to January”

Photo by PoPville flickr user KJinDC

From MPD:

“On October 23, 2014, members of the Fifth District Vice Unit conducted an operation to identify and apprehend persons involved in the theft of mail packages in PSA 501. During the operation, members observed an individual in possession of a stolen package and effected an arrest. The theft occurred in the unit block of Rhode Island Avenue, Northwest. The stolen package and its contents were documented and returned to the rightful owner.

With the help of the Fifth District Detectives Unit and the US Postal Inspection Service, the person arrested has been linked to numerous package thefts throughout the Fifth District dating back to January 2014.

The individual was also in possession of Halloween Costume which may have been taken from a package in an unreported theft. If anyone has knowledge of a missing mail package containing a Halloween Costume, please contact me at the email address or phone numbers listed below.

Thank you,

Lieutenant Ramey Kyle
Fifth District
VICE, Street Crimes, Warrant Squad
1805 Bladensburg Road, Northeast
Washington, D.C. 20002
202-698-0150 station
202-384-7577 cell

12 Comment

  • Thanks for passing along. Does anyone know how they went about getting the police to do an investigation? We are having similar problems in northern Columbia Heights and Southern Petworth between 14th St and Georgia Av.

    • Although I can’t directly answer your question, I’d encourage everyone who has had a package stolen to report it to the police. This gives them a much better sense of how big the problem is and where the thieves are. The police also may know of nearby cameras or places where thieves dump packages, so there’s a (small) chance you might get your package back.

      I’ve only done this myself once, but the whole process — from phone call to paper filing — took less than 10 minutes and was very straightforward.

      • This makes so much sense, but when a package on my walk-up was sliced open and contents removed, I never reported it to the police. This was in Columbia Heights. It seems obvious but yet it never occurred to me to do so. I wonder how many others don’t report their stolen items.

        • I’m guessing a -lot- of people don’t file reports. I had several packages stolen before it occurred to me. And it’s probably a pure coincidence, but the police in my area nabbed a package thief a week after a filed my report.

          • Ive tried reporting a package theft to police in the District 4 (Petworth) and was basically told that its not worth filing a report, but that they would “note” the incident. I was then told it “wasn’t smart to have packaged delivered to my house during the day.” Like it was my fault…

          • I’m sorry you had that experience, Anon. That’s shameful on the part of the police.

    • I had the same issue – I just so happened to come home shortly after my package had arrived, but much to my dismay, my package had been stolen. I don’t know if it’s luck of the draw or bad luck all together, but on my walk to the UPS store on 14th and Monroe to check and see what type of insurance the shipper chose, I encountered an individual with a UPS package that low and behold was my package…due to poor judgement in the hear of the moment I confronted the individual prior to requesting the police to step in and their response to this individual is in possession of my stolen package is there anything you can do was…you guessed it; no (immediately got back in their car and drove off)…

      • I don’t understand. You confronted a person HOLDING YOUR PACKAGE and you didn’t take it back? Or you did get it back but the police did nothing about the thief?

        • I was reading it as the OP saying something like, “Hey, that’s my package! Give it back!” and the thief saying something like “No” or “Go f*** yourself.”

        • That’s right, the person had my package and I didn’t take it back; he had already taken the contents out of the package. I have the box for UPS to inspect, but no goods.

      • If you told a police officer that someone was holding a package addressed to you and they failed to even stop the person and question them, that is nuts. You could:

        * report this on the MPD listserv for your district
        * email the commander for your PSA or District (the MPD website lists this); cc’ing your ANC commissioner and/or councilmember might encourage a response
        * file a complaint with DC’s office of police complaints

  • A lot of package thefts in Columbia heights. I just has one stolen about 2 weeks ago – should’ve reported to police but didn’t. Second package stolen in the past 5 or 6 months. Several months ago I saw a man going house to house stealing mail and I called the police to report the man. Gave a good description and location and thee was no response. An hour later the man – who was also drunk – was still walking up to mailboxes and going through mail. This has been a big problem in Columbia heights, and in recent weeks i have seen people walking up the streets looking hard at every porch they pass by. It is quite obvious what they are up to. I have gotten the sense that the MPD don’t care to do anything about the thefts, maybe because they are often not enough value to make a good case.

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