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Police investigate thefts of holiday packages from Berks front porches

Published On: Dec 24 2013 06:47:54 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 12 2013 05:42:29 AM CST

Holiday gifts stolen off of porches in Hamburg

HAMBURG, Pa. -

Sneaky thieves are stealing holiday packages right off the front porches of some homes, authorities said.

Twice, over the past couple weeks, police say several packages were stolen off a porch in the 100 block of S. Third Street in Hamburg.

Both times, the packages were stolen from the same location, according to court documents.

Neighborhood surveillance cameras captured Ellis Garman of Reading, police said.

Garman was arrested and charged in connection with the crime.

But police say, sadly, there may be more victims.

"I think it's happening a lot more than we realize because I do not believe all of these thefts are being reported," said John Adams, Berks County district attorney.

Investigators say they believe the criminals are following delivery trucks like FedEx and UPS, and waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike.

"Once those packages are delivered, and there's no one at home, those homes are being targeted," Adams said.

To protect your holiday package, authorities recommend:

  • Having the package delivered to your job;
  • Have a neighbor who's home, receive the package;
  • Request a signature confirmation; or
  • Have the package held until you can pick it up at a later date.

Authorities say you should never leave a note asking the delivery drivers to hide your package.

"The criminal is out there. He may read that note and go find that package," Adams said.

If you have been a victim of this crime, contact the police immediately.