Brazen Package Thefts Surprise Some North County Residents

 Some North County residents are fed up with packages stolen right from their front doorsteps, even a month after the holiday season has ended. 

Dan Sponseller, a Carlsbad resident, said he did not install his security cameras to capture thieves, but he is glad it was there when a thief grabbed a package from his front door. 

Since moving to the neighborhood in October 2015, he's noticed packages that have gone missing -- the most recent one on Monday evening, caught on his cameras. 

"When it first happened, I thought maybe one of our neighbors grabbed it and took it in. So I just kind of walked around and then I was like, well I might as well just check video. See who it was. Maybe one of my neighbors moved it in," said Sponseller. "But sure enough, it was a stranger."

A Carlsbad Police spokesman told NBC 7 San Diego package thefts are more common around the holidays, and they are aware of the issue and are investigating. They say a package sitting on a front door for several hours creates an opportunity for crime. 

In the surveillance video, you can see a person get out of his car, walk up to Sponseller's front porch, grab the package and walk away. 

"He got in his car. Turned the light on to look at what he got, and then just drove away," Sponseller described to NBC 7 San Diego.

The package stolen from his front step was filled with marketing material for his wife's company. 

Sponseller said people with the same model of home are having the problem because the actual front door and porch area is so close to the sidewalk. Neighbors in the area say they are taking steps to install cameras to help thwart thieves. 

This neighborhood isn't the only one being targeted. On the neighborhood app Nextdoor, people from all over the city say they're dealing with the same problem.

Officials offered these tips to avoid package theft: 

  • Only have a package delivered if you are going to be at home.
  • Consider signing for packages so you know they have arrived.
  • If you are expecting a package check for it throughout the day and bring the package inside immediately.
  • Check to see if your shipping company has digital alerts. The alerts tells you of the impending delivery and if that date and time is not convenient, you can reschedule or reroute the package.
  • If you are not going to be home or cannot schedule package delivery, have the package delivered to a trusted neighbor's house or delivered to your work.
  • Choose the "pick-up at store" option when available.
Contact Us