NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – A thief helped himself to a package on a New Haven family’s back porch, but the surveillance cameras were rolling. Police say package theft is a common problem, especially around the holidays.
Monica Zanders was expecting a package on Wednesday, but she was surprised by what she found when she got home.
“When I picked the box up it was empty,” she said.
When she watched the surveillance video she saw the UPS driver deliver her package. Just a few minutes later she saw a man ride up to the house on his bicycle; he then went over to the back porch and helped himself to what was in the box. Her husband called the police.
“I was angry. I was so angry. I feel violated. It’s not that they took the package it’s just the principle of it,” said Zanders. “It’s not yours, this is not your home.”
In order to get the package the thief had to step over a dog gate. He then opened the box on the back deck and took off with the trash can inside.
“A lot of these thieves actually follow the delivery trucks and actually wait for someone to not answer the door when they ring the bell,” said Officer David Hartman of the New Haven Police Department.
It’s a crime of opportunity. Though the fences and security systems Zanders has will deter many thieves, it won’t stop all of them. The house has signs warning would-be thieves that they’re being watched.
“We do love when people can provide us with video footage or a still photo from surveillance,” said Hartman.
Zanders is still shocked by what her surveillance system caught on video. This isn’t the first time something was stolen from her backyard. Her daughter’s bicycle was stolen last year.
Zanders is upset that the thief came onto the back deck of the house she’s lived in for 20 years.
“I’ve never felt unsafe until now. I just don’t feel safe here anymore,” said Zanders.
If you’re expecting a package and you’re not going to be home, police recommend having the delivery service hold it at the warehouse or leave it with a neighbor.