An alert neighbor is credited with helping police identify and apprehend a man and woman accused of stealing a package from the porch of a South Lake Tahoe residence.
A man called police early Thursday afternoon after observing a white lifted Chevy Silverado pickup truck, with a man and woman inside, traveling slowly down Tanglewood Avenue. A package was lying on the porch of a nearby home, and the truck stopped in front of the residence. The woman got out of the truck, picked up the package and returned with it to the truck, according to a South Lake Tahoe Police Department news release. As the neighbor continued watching, he saw the man and woman inspect the porch of at least one other neighborhood residence.
The witness called 911 and reported the circumstances, along with a description of the vehicle and its occupants.
The vehicle left the area before police arrived, but the officers continued to look for it during the course of their watch. An officer eventually spotted the pickup parked in the South Y Shopping Center. Police kept an eye on the vehicle until a man and woman returned to it. They were identified as Brandon Michael Graves Perreira, 24, and Virginia Morris, 26, both of Gustine in Merced County. Police said both are on felony probation for drug and theft charges out of Stanislaus County.
Based on the conditions of Perreira and Morris’ probation, officers searched them and their vehicle. The search turned up the stolen property, tire chains, which had been ordered for delivery to the victim’s home.
Police said the witness identified both the suspects and their truck as those he had observed in his neighborhood.
Perreira and Morris were arrested on suspicion of felony conspiracy to commit a crime, misdemeanor theft and violating probation.
Police noted that delivered packages are targets for thieves year round, and particularly during the holiday season. They urge neighbors to watch out for each other, and encourage residents to ask a trusted person to watch for and secure packages if deliveries are anticipated when the recipient is away from home. Conspicuous home security signs posted in front of a residence, as well as video cameras, also can help deter crimes of opportunity and help identify suspects if a theft occurs, police said.