Thieves targeting unattended gift deliveries

December 20, 2009 5:53:17 PM PST
Many are still waiting for holiday gifts they ordered to arrive in the mail, but people are being warned not to leave them unattended on their doorsteps. One Antioch family learned this lesson the hard way when someone walked off with a shipment of their gifts

The culprit is not quite the Grinch who stole Christmas. He is just the guy who stole a shipment of Christmas gifts right off the Bishops' doorstep. He drove up in a pick-up truck on Friday afternoon and obviously did not notice the surveillance cameras outside the family's Antioch home.

They captured him briefly looking over his shoulder, grabbing the presents then walking away with the gifts in hand.

"Meaningful gifts that each person would really like," Jenny Bishop said describing the presents. "And, then to have someone take that away was sad."

The packages were delivered by UPS, sent by Jenny Bishop's brother and her daughter. They were not terribly expensive gifts, including mostly DVDs and also a Golden Girls anthology for grandma. But, they were gifts for the entire family and apparently gifts the thief liked. A neighbor found the empty box just a few blocks away.

Antioch police told the Bishops they will be on the lookout for the thief, but without a license plate number there is not much they can do. When Steve Bishop hung the family's Christmas lights he accidently bumped one camera out of place, the camera that would have captured the license plate.

"Just missed the license plate," Steve Bishop told ABC7. "Saw the truck. Saw the back, very lower portions of it as it drove away, but not a license plate."

Unfortunately, tis' the season for crimes like these. UPS says unless a sender specifically requests a signature upon delivery, packages will be left unattended on a doorstep. A spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service says people who know they have packages coming should take precaution.

"If they have a neighbor, there are informal neighborhood watches around. Just keep an eye on one another and one neighbor will watch out for the other one," says Guz Ruiz. "It's important for them too because they want to make sure their mail is delivered securely."

The Bishops now have other presents under their tree, but they say that is not what matters.

"We're all healthy and fine, so we'll be fine," says Jenny Bishop.


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