ENCINITAS -- Two probationers were facing additional charges after allegedly following a delivery driver around Encinitas and snatching packages he had just dropped off Tuesday afternoon.
The driver of an Amazon.com delivery truck alerted sheriff's deputies to the suspects -- later identified as Kristina Green, 19, and Gary Withers, 38, both of San Diego, -- as they were allegedly tailing him in a Dodge Charger around 2:45 p.m., sheriff's Detective Sgt. Rich Eaton said. The driver told emergency dispatchers that one of the suspects would get out and take packages after he delivered them.
Deputies eventually pulled over the Charger and found several stolen packages, along with methamphetamine, heroin, a loaded gun and mail belonging to 13 different people, Eaton said. Also discovered was a "to-do list" that included stealing mail and shoplifting, The San Diego Union Tribune reported.
John Becker didn't know his package had been stolen until a deputy knocked on his door.
"It's always better to be the victim who is on the good side of things rather than be the victim and find out that you don't have something,” Becker told 10News. “Thanks to the sheriff's department we have that solved."
"Porch Pirates" have been hitting neighborhoods across the country.
"As everyone has seen, it's kind of the ongoing trend right now to steal packages off of people's doorsteps, so to get the packages back before the people even knew they were stolen is pretty cool," Sgt. Eaton said.
"It's terrible,” Becker said. “It's victimizing people and it's kind of an easy crime. It's strange it doesn't happen more often."
Both Green and Withers were on probation stemming from theft, drug and weapon violations, according to the detective sergeant. They now face several additional charges including petty theft, possession of methamphetamine and heroin, being a felon in possession of a handgun, possession of stolen property and conspiracy to commit a crime, according to Eaton and jail records.
Eaton said detectives were searching for more possible victims.