Escondido Police arrest 'real-life Grinch' who stole packages left outside homes

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV) - Police say they've arrested a "real-life Grinch" who stole at least 30 packages - many of which were Amazon boxes - from homes.

Escondido Police said a driver was stopped just after 11 p.m. on Saturday in the area of Escondido Blvd. and Valley Pkwy. for a traffic violation. The driver of the vehicle, identified as 22-year-old Jerry Rabb of El Centro, Calif., was found to have an outstanding felony warrant.

Rabb's vehicle was searched and about 30 packages were discovered. The packages, many found torn open and with Amazon labels, appeared to have been stolen before the recipients received them, according to police.

RELATED: Boy helps police arrest 'the Grinch,' saves Christmas in New York town

"We have all heard the story of the Grinch, and how little Cindy Lou helped save Christmas for all those in Whoville. While the Escondido Police Department does not have a Cindy Lou, we do have an Officer St. John who may have just helped save this holiday season for many," police wrote in a release.

The packages contained items including clothes, tools, and electronics. Police said they have identified many of the victims and they are working to return their packages.

Rabb was arrested on his warrant and charged with possession of stolen property.

RELATED: 6 easy ways to prevent holiday package thefts

"A motive in this case remains unclear. Investigators cannot confirm if this Grinch’s heart is in-fact two sizes too small," Escondido police wrote.

Escondido Police suggested residents protect their deliveries this holiday season in a variety of ways:

  • Have packages sent to a neighbor who is home during the day,
  • Request signature confirmation on all packages so they are not left unattended,
  • Use services that notify when deliveries are about to be made or to hold a package for pickup, or
  • Use an Amazon Locker to receive packages. In Escondido, one is available at the 7-11 located at 503 W. Washington Ave.

Anyone with any information in the case is asked to call Escondido Police detective Elizabeth Hundley at 760-839-4965. To submit an anonymous tip, call 760-743-TIPS (8477).

Print this article Back to Top