This holiday season police across northeast Ohio are warning residents to be on the lookout for package thieves.
Strongsville Police said a thief or thieves stole packages and mail from ten homes in the High Point neighborhood on October 29.
A doorbell surveillance camera at a home on Monterrey Pine shows a suspect who police estimate is in his late teens or early twenties stealing a package. Police said the thefts happened between 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Some of the stolen packages were opened and their contents were found dumped in the neighborhood.
“It was a little disconcerting having a police car pulling up at ten o’clock at night,” said victim Will Jean, whose mail was stolen from his mail box. “We don’t think about Strongsville as having things like this occur.”
Strongsville Police Chief Mark Fender said officers have increased patrols in the area and detectives are tracking down the suspect.
“We go to great lengths to track this stuff down, send a very clear message: this is not the city you want to do this in,” Fender said.
In Cleveland, a thief wearing a hooded sweatshirt was captured on surveillance video riding a bicycle up to a home in the 3300 block of Marvin Avenue Tuesday.
He stole a box containing a guitar amplifier and guitar strings, according to a police report, before riding away.
Police said keeping an eye out for neighbors and reporting any suspicious activity is key in preventing package thefts.
“As you’re out and about driving through your neighborhood, your community, look for anything that doesn’t look the norm,” Fender said.
Police said security cameras and motion sensing lights can also be deterrents.
Experts suggest tracking deliveries, listing instructions for them to be left in a discreet place and bringing them inside as quickly as possible.
Police recommend having packages delivered to a safe place, such as a workplace or a neighbor’s house where someone will be home, so they are not left unattended.