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Stolen Packages From Front Porches A Statewide Trend

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holiday thief, stolen package, front porch theft
Gigi Barnett 370x278 Gigi Barnett
Gigi Barnett anchors the Weekend Morning Edition with Meteorologist...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Baltimore County police call it an easy-target crime. Now they’re searching for two thieves who ripped off Christmas packages left on front porches.

Gigi Barnett reports it’s a trend police statewide saw this holiday.

Palmer Murray and his family went on vacation the week before Christmas.

“We went to Puerto Rico for a couple of days,” Murray said.

They made sure packages arrived just in time for the holiday. But when they returned home, one of the packages containing lacrosse equipment was missing–stolen right from their front porch.

“One of our neighbors actually saw two guys drive by and take something and leave, and I guess he didn’t think anything of it,” Murray said.

Police say a few blocks away from the Murrays, thieves swiped holiday packages from a house in the 400 block of Overbrook Road, too.

And officers say the crimes are connected.

“We have witnesses to both of these crimes, and they’ve described similar suspects,” said Baltimore County police spokesman Shawn Vinson.

Police are tracking the trend statewide.

Last week, Howard County police released surveillance video of a front-porch thief in action. The woman gets out of her car, walks up to a house in Ellicott City. Seconds later, she’s back–carrying the stolen package to her car, and takes off.

Police say thieves don’t necessarily know what’s inside the boxes.

“A lot of the thefts, the thieves aren’t looking for the actual packages they’re taking,” Officer Vinson said. “They’re going to convert it to money and take it to a pawn shop or a second hand shop.”

As for the Murrays, from now on their packages won’t sit in plain sight for thieves to swipe.

“It’s just sort of desperate people that need something to sell or something like that. It’s kind of inconsiderate,” Murray said.

Police say this is a crime that can happen year round, so protect yourself by asking a neighbor to sign for your packages if you’re not going to be at home. And use online tracking services.

Baltimore County police are looking for two men in their 20s driving a teal Dodge vehicle. They believe both thefts are connected.

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