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Video: Brazen Thief Swipes Christmas Gifts off Porches

It was during the daytime and they were behind a gate, but that didn't stop this grinch from stealing South Pasadena residents' gifts.

It looks like there's a Grinch is on the loose in South Pasadena.

An unidentified woman was caught on tape -- thanks to resident Christina Valenzuela's surveillance camera -- swiping a package from behind her iron gate in broad daylight. And in Valenzuela's driveway, the La Fremontia Street resident found an empty box addressed to another resident in the 1400 block of Oneonta Knoll. 

"It's very upsetting,'' Valenzuela told KTLA 5, noting her missing package was a salt and pepper shaker set that her sister sent from North Carolina.  

South Pasadena Police Officer Richard Lee said thieves captialize on the holiday season to troll for unattended packages. Some even go so far as to follow delivery trucks, he told the news station. 

Stolen Toys

Another victim of the South Pasadena package thief is resident Becky Lin, who told Patch she and her husband had been doing most of their Christmas shopping online this year, so the items that were stolen were mainly toys for Christmas gifts.

"We had purchases from Amazon.com and Target.com. Amazon immediately resent the package the next day, no questions asked. Target said they would resend the packages soon, and gave us a $100 gift card for our trouble, which was incredible,'' she wrote in an email, noting that the merchants went above and beyond accommodating.

"We were definitely bummed that this happened--more irritated than violated though. I just hope the gifts that were stolen from us go to someone who truly needs them,'' Lin added.

But make no mistake: from here on out, she said, Lin's family is getting all of their packages delivered to work.  

The female suspect is described as 20-years-old, 5-feet tall, thin build, brown hair, dark eyes, wearing a brown jogging suit and white running shoes. If you have any information about these crimes, please call detectives at 626-403-7280.

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Barbara Ellis December 07, 2012 at 06:48 AM
My mail person leaves boxes in full view of the busy road, next to the mail box, which is outside my fence (as they refused to come down the path because I have a very sweet dog, that lives inside with me). The packages could easily be put into my garden by leaning across the fence, or even onto my porch, the way Fedex and UPS do. Is there any way I can stop this happening by complaining to the USPS?
Donna Evans (Editor) December 07, 2012 at 08:18 AM
Hi Barbara. Have you had the opportunity to ask your mail carrier to please do this for you? If you don't ever seem to have the same person delivering, I'd try going to the post office and asking to speak to the person in charge of routes and see if such a request is possible. Failing that, might try posting a kindly worded request on your fence -- it's worth a shot :-)
JT Hampton December 07, 2012 at 09:53 AM
Becky Lin hopes that the gifts stolen from her go to "someone who truly needs them.'' I have to tip my hat to her because I'm fairly certain I'm much less magnanimous. If i see a stranger in the neighborhood, anyone, really, lurking in a way i perceive odd, I'mma be watching with one finger on the dial to 911. I work my tail off for the pittance I'm paid and would like to be able to buy my family nicer stuff, but right now, it don't go that way. And that's ok. But would I steal food for my buddy's kid who was hungry and my friend wasn't getting paid for another day? Depends. Am I stealing processed food in the aisle of a conglomerate or a sandwich from a no name liquor store? How about I just walk around the neighborhoods, knock on doors and ask to pick fallen fruit from the yard and blamo - some vitamin c. whatever, you cold also craft some crappy gifts out of leaves or something, tell the kids they're our camping protectors , and then pack up everyone for a long Christmas weekend at Joshua Tree. Maybe try a Christmas without Santa (i.e.gifts) and just sort of hang with everyone, you know?
Jones Foyer December 07, 2012 at 03:22 PM
This is why when I order anything, I get it sent to my workplace address. I hope karma catches up with these people.
Betty Jean December 08, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Happens all the time.

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