Package thieves are on the prowl in one San Diego neighborhood, but surveillance video shows they may be employing a new tactic.
For worried homeowners, the video is an all-too familiar sight.
In one clip, a woman is spotted in December 2016 outside the home of John Baker on Mono Lake Drive in the Lake Murray neighborhood.
“She picks up the package, wraps it up in something. You see it under – maybe a sweatshirt – and away she goes,” Baker said.
In the video, the woman is seen walking away and then running to a SUV waiting in the distance.
The package contained shaving supplies.
When Baker took a closer look at the video, however, he spotted something odd. About half an hour before the woman showed up, there was a second woman at his door.
Just two minutes after the package was dropped off, the second woman walks up to the home and inspects the package, before ringing the doorbell and walking away.
“Definitely could have been scouting to see if someone was home. Could have been verifying a package still on the porch,” Baker said.
Moments earlier the woman rang another neighbor's doorbell, but may have gotten flustered when the neighbor appeared and questioned her, according to Baker.
“She said she was trying to overcome a fear of public speaking and going on and on with no point. Not real legit. Probably could have worked on her story a bit,” Baker said.
Unfortunately the thefts may be just beginning.
A week later and a few miles away on Pasatiempo Avenue, an alert from a doorbell camera shows a thief – who bears some resemblance to the other thief – walk up to Amy Mier Y Teran's home, look around, and then grab a package containing a puzzle.
“[It] just angers me they have the nerve to come to your front door and take it," Mier Y Teran said.
The victims said they suspect the thieves may have been tailing a postal worker because it happened so soon after the delivery.
“I'm not sure really what you can do about it, and that more than anything is frustrating,” Baker said.