Adding insult to injury, a brazen thief recently took a package from the porch of a home on North Morton Boulevard, east of downtown Modesto, and then flipped off a peephole camera as he left.
Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying the bearded white male. Anyone who knows or sees him is urged to contact Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers at 209-521-4636. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward. Tips also can be submitted via www.stancrimetips.org.
“With the holidays approaching, there will be an increase in deliveries from online purchases,” the Modesto Police Department posted on its Facebook page Thursday morning. “Try to make arrangements for your packages not to be left sitting on your front doorstep.”
Fortunately, there also been a rise in the number of residents installing doorbell cams and sharing images and video with police, said MPD spokeswoman Sharon Bear. “They’re very beneficial to us, and the quality on some is very good if the subject is close enough. These days, there’s video everywhere.”
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Not that this thief seemed to care.
An increase in mail and package theft in recent years has led the U.S. Postal Service and law enforcement agencies to provide advice on protecting your property.
Last Christmas season, the Turlock Police Department shared on Facebook, “Plan ahead your package deliveries for when someone is home, send them to your workplace, require a signature for delivery or ask a neighbor who is home to pick up your packages.”
And the Postal Service offers these tips to protect your mail from thieves:
- Use the letter slots inside your post office for your mail, or hand it to a letter carrier.
- Pick up your mail promptly after delivery. Don’t leave it in your mailbox overnight.
- If you’re expecting checks, credit cards or other negotiable items, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up your mail.
- If you don’t receive a check or other valuable mail you’re expecting, contact the issuing agency immediately.
- If you change your address, immediately notify your post office and anyone with whom you do business via the mail.
- Don’t send cash in the mail.
- Tell your post office when you’ll be out of town so it can hold your mail until you return.
- Report all suspected mail theft to a postal inspector.
- Consult with your local postmaster for the most up-to-date regulations on mailboxes, including the availability of locked centralized or curbside mailboxes.
- If you see a mail thief at work, or if you believe your mail was stolen, call police immediately, then call postal inspectors at 877-876-2455 (press 3).
- Learn more at https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov.