LARGO, Md. - Thursday is National Package Protection Day, and the timing couldn't be better. Experts say people nationwide will call police to report their holiday packages have been stolen from outside their homes 23 million times between Thanksgiving and Christmas-- and that's not a typo.
A Prince George's County homeowner shared video captured outside his home Wednesday afternoon with FOX 5, and it shows a man taking a package from inside his storm door less than an hour after a UPS driver delivered it. It happened at a home on Harry Truman Drive in Largo, Md.
The video shows a man wearing an orange jacket, jeans and earbuds walking up to the door, opening it, taking the package and walking away. The homeowner reported the incident to the Prince George's County Police Department and passed the video along to investigators.
Tanya Lewis, who also lives in the neighborhood, saw the story on FOX 5 Thursday morning, and told reporter Bob Barnard she recognized the man from the neighborhood on Wednesday. A few minutes later, Lewis said she spotted the man nearby, not far from where Barnard was reporting. FOX 5's cameras captured a man wearing dark pants and a white t-shirt walking through the neighborhood. FOX 5 contacted Prince George's County police, and an officer came out to speak to Lewis and patrol the area where the man was seen.
In a separate incident, Prince George's County police released surveillance video Thursday showing another package being stolen from a home in Camp Springs. That incident took place on November 15 at a home on Westridge Place, according to police.
Authorities offer the following suggestions to help prevent package thefts over the holidays:
- Track your package. If you know when it is being delivered, get there quickly or meet the delivery driver so your package isn't sitting outside.
- Have your package delivered to a neighbor or friend's house where someone is home, or to your workplace instead of your home.
- If you are having your package delivered to your house, ask a neighbor to keep an eye out for the package if you know you won't be home during the delivery window.
- If possible, pick up the ordered item at the store instead of having it shipped to your home. You can also ship the item to an Amazon Locker, a UPS or FedEx office or the Post Office.
- Require a signature for delivery.
Anyone with information about either of these package thefts is urged to call the Prince George's County Police Department's Regional Investigation Division at (301) 794-5064. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), or go online at www.pgcrimesolvers.com, or use the "P3 Tips" mobile app (search "P3 Tips" in the Apple Store or Google Play to download the app onto your mobile device).