Not so fast: Neighborhood baits package thief, snaps pictures of crook

MILL CREEK, Wash. – Neighbors claim that package thieves have targeted their Snohomish County neighborhood so many times that homeowners are now banding together to put a stop to it.

Neighbors said the same car has been circling the streets for days snatching up deliveries. So one homeowner decided to bait the thieves by placing an empty box on her front door step.

When the crooks came calling, she surprised them with her cell phone staring them in the face.

“A couple days ago someone had stolen our packages and that’s what made me want to do this,” said Gabriela Sykes.

Sykes printed warning flyers which now greets neighbors in the Crossing at North Creek development. When Sykes again saw thieves casing her neighborhood she decided to turn the tables on the crooks with a clever trap.

“It’s an empty box full of Styrofoam,” she said.

The box was a bust and the crooks never saw it coming.

“Pulled out right in front of my house and I had my camera ready,” she said. “That’s when I opened the door and I jumped out with my camera and I took a picture of them. He didn’t have time to react. He just turned around, shut the door, got in his car and left.”

A close inspection of Sykes’ photo shows the thief’s car’s back seat was already filled with boxes.

Sykes shared the pictures with neighbors and police who are now investigating. Other neighbors applaud Sykes effort, but say more needs to be done. Renee Visitacion is so frustrated she could scream.

She claims to have watched the package heist go down, and that’s when she said she chased the car through the streets and snapped a photo of the license plate.

“Those are Christmas gifts for kids, birthday gifts, hardworking people that are ordering online because they don’t have time to shop and you’re taking that from them,” said Visitacion.

Neighbors hope police will catch the thieves and put an end to their package pilfering.

“I really just want him to go to jail,” said Sykes. “It’s a crime. It’s not your packages; it’s not your money. It’d be nice if they purchased their own items.”

Both FedEx and UPS encourage their customers to have packages delivered to their office if someone isn’t going to be home. They also suggest asking a trusted neighbor to take in deliveries.