SAMMAMISH, Wash. -- The City of Sammamish is having a big problem with package thefts and now police are trying something new in hopes of deterring future thefts.
It’s the time of year that package thieves love. Gifts left on doorsteps and no one around.
“So many people shop online that they don’t have to go to the store, and because of that, it’s a lot more convenient for thieves to make a quick get and get away,” said Warren Myers, who lives in Sammamish.
We’ve seen surveillance video from all over our region, showing thieves walk up to porches and stealing people's packages.
In Sammamish, the problem got bad enough, police decided to try something new.
“So we’re just trying to be out there to be a deterrent and to find these people before they commit the crime,” said Officer Lynette Mitchell, with Sammamish Police.
Officer Mitchell is one of 5 officers working an emphasis patrol in neighborhoods this year looking for anything unusual.
On top of her regular patrol work, she’s trying to keep Christmas gifts from getting stolen.
“I’m just kind of watching to make sure we don’t have a house that has a bunch of packages sitting on the porch,” said Mitchell.
If a package is found on a porch, police in unmarked cars will watch for a bit, from a distance to make sure no one grabs it.
At the same time, other officers in marked cars make their presence known in hopes that thieves will think twice.
“I think this happens more around Christmas time you know, because people are ordering more and ordering online, so it’s probably a great idea to put on more patrols,” said Melissa Myers who lives in the area.
“It’s kind of a sad state of affairs but if that’s what it takes to keep them from doing it it’s great,” said Tom Reid, about the emphasis patrols.
Police will also keep an eye out for delivery trucks and make sure they’re not being followed.
However; they really need neighbors help. They want them to report anything suspicious on their block.
“It’s really important for neighbors to be alert and aware and have eyes open,” said Warren Myers.
Police suggest you have your packages delivered to a safe place or have your neighbors pick them up.
They also suggest you don’t leave anything in your cars that is visible.
Sammamish police want people to report anything they see that is suspicious, so they can move in quickly and try to catch the thieves before they strike.