Local News

Thief snatching packages off Durham porches

Posted January 8, 2016 6:50 p.m. EST

— A Durham woman wants help catching the man who stole a Christmas gift for her daughter off her front porch. The thief was caught on security video, but police told her there isn't much they can do.

Pamela McAllister said her family was on a Caribbean cruise over Christmas, so they weren't home to pick up the gift, a surprise from her daughter's grandmother, when it was delivered on Dec. 26.

"I didn't know a package was being delivered," McAllister said Friday.

When she realized her daughter's gift was missing, she pulled up video from a home security camera on her front porch and saw the theft play out.

A man who appears to be on his phone is seen on the video casually walking up to the Durham townhouse on Stratford Lakes Drive and taking a package off the porch.

"He strolled up the steps like he lived here and grabbed it," McAllister said. "This was my home, and he came on my property and took something that did not belong to him. That's really disturbing."

Police said Mcallister isn't the only victim, noting officers have responded to reports of at least eight package thefts in her neighborhood since November, including a family across the street from Mcallister.

"He said he had two packages on two separate occasions that were taken around this same time," she said of her neighbor.

Mcallister was the only resident to catch her theft on camera, and she said she hopes her video can help find the person responsible.

"This is small, but it's huge to me. It was for my daughter. It could have been something worth a whole lot more money," she said. "If he's doing this and doing it to multiple families, he needs to be caught."

Durham police gave the following advice on how to avoid thefts like these:

  • Ask neighbors to pick up packages that are left if they see them.
  • Leave instructions on the front door asking delivery people to put packages on the back porch.
  • Request that all packages require a signature for delivery.