Clallam warns residents of package thefts

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents in the Monroe and Mount Pleasant areas that vehicles have been reported trailing U.S. Postal Service, UPS and FedEx trucks, with the drivers getting out to snatch up packages.

Mailboxes have been reported looted, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Lorraine Shore, Community Policing Services coordinator, said she has received several reports from members of area neighborhood watch groups of present prowling.

One resident reported a woman drove off in an SUV moments after a delivery was made.

The caller reportedly saw the delivery, put on his shoes to get it, went outside and saw the woman approaching the package. The woman, according to Shore, then reversed track, got into her SUV and drove away.

Another caller reported returning home to find opened and emptied Christmas card envelopes.

Clallam County Undersheriff Ron Peregrin said mail thefts are a common occurrence at Christmas time, since package deliveries and Christmas cards filled with cash or gift cards make an attractive target for thieves.

“It’s a classic crime this time of year,” Peregrin said.

“These deliveries are pretty easy targets, and it can be a pretty lucrative haul,” he added.

Four people were booked in the King County Jail for investigation of such robberies in West Seattle earlier this month, The Associated Press reported.

Drivers with UPS at the firm’s hub in Port Angeles said Friday they had not noticed anyone trailing them as they made their deliveries.

Peregrin asked residents, especially those in rural areas like Monroe and Mount Pleasant, to call the 24-hour dispatch line at 360-417-2459 to report license plate numbers and vehicle descriptions of suspicious vehicles following delivery trucks.

He added deputies and police plan to step up patrols around delivery trucks.

Residents are also advised to be vigilant about their mail: empty mail boxes before sunset and instruct delivery drivers not to leave packages at an empty home.

Last modified: December 22. 2012 5:43PM
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