COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — Dozens of holiday packages have been recovered after they were stolen off porches in Howard County. Police say the thefts are on the rise this time of year, with more people ordering online and home deliveries increasing.
“It was just quick thinking by the witness, who called 911 and was able to give a good description. And luckily, we were in the area and we were able to arrest those two folks,” said Sgt. Perry Thorsvic, Howard County Police Department.
Police say the two suspects ended up swiping more than 70 packages — enough to fill a box truck — from several of the following streets in Columbia: Tamar Drive, Dry Barley Lane, Four Foot Trail, Fire Cloud Court, Sanctuary Court, Dark Hawk Circle, Black Star Circle, Dry Stone Gate, Roan Stallion Lane, Dawn Whistle Lane, Sea Light Lane, Summer Cloud Way, Saddle Drive, Oak Bush Terrace and Silver Trumpet Drive.
Police quickly pulled the truck over and busted the so-called porch pirates.
“Never before — 51 families being impacted and 77 packages — have I seen something like this… all in one night,” said Chief Gary Gardner, Howard County Police Department.
On Thursday, officers went above and beyond to make sure no one was robbed of their holiday cheer.
WJZ’s George Solis was along for the ride as police began returning the packages to their rightful owners.
“The Howard County police have done a great job here. We’re very thankful,” said Sean McQuinn, victim.
The last of the deliveries were made Friday.
Ernest Ohanyan, 25, and Amjad Jaouni, 28 — both of Baltimore — were arrested for the thefts. Each was given $5,000 bond.
Ohanyan has been released. Jaouni is still being held at the Howard County Detention Center.
Howard County police say they have been increasing their presence in shopping areas, neighborhoods and on roadways to ensure residents stay safe this holiday season. Officers have increased patrols in cars, on foot and on bicycles, both in uniform and in plainclothes to deter holiday crime.