Neighbor scares off potential package thief

Posted at 6:58 PM, Jul 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-19 15:03:11-04

A Rolando homeowner's package was saved from a potential thief thanks to the actions of an attentive neighbor.

"He was on a bicycle," said resident Douglas Doyen said of the would-be thief.

Doyen had no idea a man on a bike was casing the neighborhood and his home until he saw what his surveillance camera caught one Saturday afternoon.

"He swings around in front of my house and drops the bike, comes up my driveway," said Doyen.

In the video, the man is clearly seen walking away with a package in hand.

"You feel vulnerable. It can happen anywhere, anytime to anybody," added Doyen.

However, the would-be thief didn't make it too far with Doyen's package. A woman named Michelle, who was driving along a nearby street, noticed the man and started watching his every move.

"She comes up right behind me with her vehicle honking the horn. He drops the box and takes off," explained Doyen.

Michelle then got out of her car, grabbed the package and left it with Doyen's neighbor, who kept it safe until he got off from work.

"She caught him in the act," said Doyen.

Michelle alerted her neighbors about the crime through Nextdoor, a private online social network. Neighbors praised her for a job well done and thanked her for being diligent. One resident named Melissa wrote she had three boxes stolen from her porch about a month and a half ago.

"And I saw her post on there and said, 'Oh my God, that's my house," said Doyen.

Doyen replied, "Thank you, thank you, thank you," and shared a link to his surveillance video.

"I would never expect a guy on a bicycle to do it. I've heard it happen in other places. I'm really happy to hear that people around here are keeping their eyes out," said neighbor Karen Hansen.

"The neighborhood and that camera both doing their job," said Doyen.

The would-be thief won't be happy to hear what was in the box. According to Doyen, his package contained: "Dehydrated hash browns and a Blink 182 CD and a Radiohead CD; that's all it was."

A few weeks ago, Doyen's surveillance camera caught another thief jumping over a neighbor's fence and walking away with a leaf blower.

In both cases, the thieves still haven't been found.

For people ordering online, Amazon has lockers around San Diego County so shoppers can get packages delivered to a secure location.

Amazon locker locations can be found selecting a shipping address during checkout.

Packages can also be delivered to a shopper's place of employment.