Arrest prompts tips to prevent theft of delivered packages

MARYSVILLE — It’s known as “porch poaching” in the delivery business.

And the poachers are on the prowl these days.

“During the holiday season there is definitely a spike in package thefts,” said Jeremy Leder, an inspector with the U.S. Postal Service in Seattle.

At this time of year, thieves know that they’re likely to be stealing gifts, which can be more valuable than boxes they might pilfer at other times of the year.

On Monday, Marysville police caught up with a suspected package poacher. They arrested the Lake Stevens woman, 31, for investigation of theft, possession of stolen property and narcotics possession.

The victim reported the theft of the package to police late Monday morning. He discovered it while reviewing home security video. The theft occurred Nov. 16 from his front porch. The thief was a blond haired woman driving a small white sport utility vehicle.

A Seattle television station aired the footage, which led to a tip. On Monday night, Everett police notified Marysville police they had detained the suspect in the Everett Mall parking lot while investigating a package theft in that city earlier in the day.

The suspect’s SUV was impounded while police were seeking a search warrant.

“It’s truly unfortunate, but the Christmas season brings about an increase in package thefts,” said Marysville police Cmdr. Robb Lamoureux. “People definitely need to be wary of what valuables they are having delivered and left on their porch.”

Leder, of the U.S. Postal Service, recommends finding alternatives for those who know a package will be arriving while they are gone.

Those options include having packages mailed to a work address, having them sent to a friend who is home during the day or having a neighbor pick them up. Calls also can be made to local post offices to hold packages for a later pickup.

Neighbors who spot anything suspicious should call police, he said.

This is a particularly busy time for the Postal Service. From Thanksgiving to Jan. 1, it expects to deliver more than 590 million packages.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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