EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

December 17, 2013

Christmas comes early for package snatchers

This is busiest week for parcel-delivery services

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In one recent incident, an alert witness saw a man taking a delivered package from outside of a home on South Main Street. Police said the witness provided them with a description of the suspect and a photo of the suspect’s vehicle.

Police are searching for a man who was driving a black GMC Denali SUV. Police described the suspect as between 5-feet 8-inches and 6-feet tall, medium build and wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, dark pants and sneakers.

Pistone said there were about a dozen reports of stolen packages this past summer.

“It wasn’t a random thing, it was a particular crew that was going around Haverhill and surrounding communities stealing items as they were being left,” Pistone said. “They were following around one of the parcel carriers.”

Pistone said Haverhill detectives caught the suspects, who turned out to be a man and a woman living in Lawrence. He said detectives were able to identify the suspects and their vehicle after setting up surveillance cameras at the home of a victim who’d reported packages stolen on several occasions. He said the suspects returned to the same address and were caught on camera.

“When the officers made the arrests, there was a dumpster outside of their (suspect’s) apartment building that had empty boxes of items they’d stolen,” Pistone said.

Police suggest, if possible, to arrange to have your package delivered to a place where someone can accept it, such as a package shipping/delivery center.

“If possible, don’t have your package left at your doorstep as it does invite a crime of opportunity,” Pistone said. “The criminal element does know that at this time of year a lot of packages are being delivered.”

He said it takes time to break into a home, but it doesn’t take much time to take a package that was left at your doorstep.

“We’re asking people to be aware of what’s going on and to look out for each other,” he said.

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