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Anne Arundel County Police Search For Grinch Stealing Holiday Packages

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ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Front porch shopping. That’s what Anne Arundel County Police say a burglar did minutes after holiday packages were delivered.

As Gigi Barnett explains, police are searching for the suspect and warning neighbors.

Right around 4:20 p.m. on Dec. 9, home surveillance video captured a man walking up to a house in the 1900-block of Ridgewood Road in Anne Arundel County. He reached the front porch, saw what the mailman just dropped off and snatched it.

“We call it `front porch shopping,’” said Lt. T.J. Smith, Anne Arundel County Police spokesman.

Detectives say this kind of theft occurs year-round, but ’tis the season for more opportunity.

Inside those boxes were several pricey Christmas gifts, including an X-Box. Now they’re gone.

“It’s going to ruin some kids’ Christmas that they’re not going have that item they thought they were going to have because some thief is running around stealing Christmas gifts,” Smith said.

This weekend, the homeowner posted a message on the front window, warning other neighbors and asking for their help catching the brazen thief.

Detectives say burglars have a simple way to track your treasures.

“These criminals, these thieves, follow mail carriers, whether it’s UPS, FedEx or United States Postal Service and take packages off your front porch,” Smith said.

Larry Diehl lives in the neighborhood. He has one explanation for the crime.

“People are hurting for money. It’s the easiest way in the world to go make some money is to take a package,” he said.

Detectives say there are several ways to protect your gifts this holiday. The best may be to send them to a secured location and have someone sign for them or pick them up in the post office yourself.

If you recognize the man in the surveillance video, you’re asked to call Anne Arundel County Police at 410-222-8610.

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