Police Seek Public’s Help to Identify Porch Package Pirate
A thief is stealing packages from porches in Germantown and police are hoping that the Germantown community will be able to identify the porch pirate from home security surveillance video.
Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – 5th District Patrol Investigations Unit continue to investigate the theft of packages from the front porch of two homes located on Wheatridge Drive in Germantown. Security cameras at both homes captured the same suspect committing the thefts. Investigators believe it is likely that this suspect has committed additional thefts of packages in the area.
The two incidents took place on Wheatridge Drive in Germantown. The first on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 4:50 pm in the 17900 block of Wheatridge Drive. Police say the suspect approached the front door, looked at delivered packages, and left. Suspect then returned to the home approximately 15 minutes later and took the three packages.
Roughly 30 minutes later police say the thief stole a package from a home one block over in the 18000 block of Wheatridge Drive. Police say the suspect was seen leave in dark colored four-door vehicle.
The suspect is a white male in his late 20s to early 40s, and appears to be wearing a Northwest High School tee-shirt under his open sweatshirt. Police could not confirm the tee-shirt was a Northwest shirt, but detectives did say that the suspect was wearing the same sweatshirt-jacket with a rather unique Native American Southwestern-style print.
Investigators are asking that anyone who recognizes this suspect call the 5th District Patrol Investigations Unit at 240-773-6263. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest in this case.
MCPD also offered a number of tips to prevent package thefts during the holiday season. During the holiday season, many people will choose to purchase gifts online and have them delivered to their home. This often means that there will be more packages on doorsteps and more opportunities for thieves to steal these deliveries. The Montgomery County Police Department reminds residents of ways to ensure that packages are delivered to them safely and securely:
Choose A Delivery Address Wisely
Choose to Have Package Delivered to an Attended Location
When you order something online, consider sending the package to a place where you know someone will be available to receive it – your workplace or a friend or neighbor’s home.
Choose to Have Package Delivered to Carrier Location
Have your deliveries sent to the nearest shipping company center. Many shipping carriers will hold the package for up to five days.
Choose In-Store Pick Up
Many retailers provide the option of purchasing an item online and picking it up at the nearest retail location.
Know When Your Package Will Be Delivered – Sign Up For Notification Services
Many shipment companies offer services to help you track your deliveries by receiving text messages or an e-mail. You can then plan on being home at the time of delivery or ask a trusted friend or neighbor to stop by the delivery location and retrieve the package.
After receiving a notification alert and you determine that you won’t be home, many carriers allow you to re-route your shipment to another location or to the carrier’s facility for later pick-up.
Require A Signature
Many shipping companies offer a service that requires a signature for a package to be released.
Provide Delivery Instructions
Many carriers allow residents to provide instructions on where the deliveries should be placed at the home (side porch, garage door, etc.)
Insure Your Package
Consider insuring your package. Contact your chosen mail carrier for coverage policies and requirements.
The MCPD urges residents who shop online to follow these guidelines to help ensure their packages arrive safely.
Top: Police are hoping the public can help identify this man who is suspected of stealing packages from two different porches on Wheatfield Drive in Germantown last week.
Video: Security cameras at both homes captured the same suspect committing the thefts. Investigators believe it is likely that this suspect has committed additional thefts of packages in the area.
Photo and video courtesy MCPD.