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Thief steals packages minutes after delivery

Posted: 10:58 AM, Dec 15, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-15 18:58:35Z

A thief stole packages just three minutes after they were delivered to a Paradise Hills home, and it was all caught on camera.

"I'm not going to let some thug change the way I live my life," said Joe Schmitt, the resident whose packages were stolen.

What likely will change are the Christmas gifts that three of Joe and Florence Schmitt's grandchildren will get this year. The couple bought the items from Amazon.com, but had to wait weeks because they were on backorder.

The packages arrived at their doorstep around 11:30 a.m. on Sunday. The Schmitts were home, but still didn't grab them fast enough.

"I went back and looked at videos, saw the mailman make the delivery and saw the theft; they were three minutes apart," he said.

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The videos show a man taking the packages, with one being a printer for Schmitt's computer. The others were gifts, which they are still keeping secret.

Battling package theft may seem daunting, but there are ways to get packages to where they are supposed to go, even if means making an extra stop.

The U.S. Postal Service says some ways to do that are to have the package delivered to a neighbor or redirecting the final destination through its online service.

Amazon.com also offers lockers with no additional shipping fee. The electronic lockboxes are at various 7-Eleven locations across San Diego County.

Customers open the lockers with an emailed pickup code. They have three days to take the packages before they are returned to Amazon.

Schmitt said the locker option still defeats the purpose of online shopping.

"To have to go pick it up a locker, heck, I might as well go to a regular store. It just takes the convenience all out of it," he said.

It is an inconvenience for not only him, but also the thieves.