When you move to a new neighborhood, what kind of people you will be living next to is one of the first things that you’ll want to know. Even if you don’t interact with your neighbors often, generally knowing that you live next to decent folks is an important comfort. Being stolen from is a violation that’s bad enough but being stolen from the people who are supposed to look out for you is an extra blow.
Package theft is all about that gamble. Think about it. How many times have you ordered something online that you’re looking forward to receiving but would not be of much value to anyone else? Replacement filters that will only work with your specific air purifier? A lone dish from eBay to complete your set? Personalized name tag for your dog?
Neighborhood package thieves have no idea what they are risking a possible arrest and definite neighborhood pariah rep for when they take a brown box or bubble-wrapped envelope that doesn’t belong to them. Maybe that’s part of the rush for them. Will they become the new recipient of your new iPad or pack of return address labels? Either way, they want it and are willing to chance a charge of federal offense for it.
Perhaps these thieves are unaware that they are living in the smartphone era. If someone doesn’t already have reasonably priced security cameras posted by their front door, most all of us likely have access to an old smartphone that we can point towards a street-facing window. Youtube is filling up with videos of stupid people caught on camera stealing from their neighbors and here are fifteen of them just for you.
15. Flipped His Lid
This flip-flop-wearing neighbor turned thief was ready and willing to take the gamble when he happened upon a package left by USPS at his neighbor’s door. Brazen as a raisin, he checks to see if his neighbor is home after noticing the package. After seeing that the coast is probably clear, he backs up his sedan, unlocks the trunk and takes a good long time either double-checking that his neighbor isn’t home or shaking the package like a kid on Christmas Eve or maybe both. Then like the cool cucumber robber that he is, deposits the package in his trunk before taking off (at about 3:20). According to the OP of this video, his neighbor of three years humiliated himself by getting caught on camera, likely ruined his reputation in the neighborhood and possibly got into some legal trouble for— drumroll, please— a twenty dollar laptop lid. Someone’s name was probably left off of the annual neighborhood Christmas Party list that year.
14. Gutsy Gal Does Drive-Up Duty
I’d prefer to think that this lady was paying a tribute to the good ol’ days when a lovely afternoon drive was an event in itself and she happened to see a package and the temptation was too much to resist but it’s more likely that she was tracking the USPS truck in her car as the OP points out in his video description. After driving by and noticing a package left, she amazingly swings into the driveway, pulling up close like she owns the place. For some odd reason, she tuns off the engine— really showing that she’s a full-fledged packaged thief and doesn’t care. With a cigarette dangling from her mouth and a trucker hat to try to hide the shameful face she’s not sporting, she walks right up and grabs the package off of the porch and carries it back to her getaway CR-V. No updates on if she’s been busted or not but hopefully there are plenty of posters plastered around the neighborhood.
13. Housesitter From Hell
Neighbors water each other’s plants and collect the mail when asked to, sure. Typical neighbor stuff. Water plants. Check for possible hidden key. Blow nose into hankie. Touch neighbor’s things. Go through mail. Well, this is clearly not your typical neighbor as this person wasn’t asked to come over and check what got delivered that day. This is one of those nightmare neighbors that seems bad enough to make you happy to move the heaviest of furniture just to be in another zip code. And what exactly was that liquid that was poured into the vase? The morning’s leftover coffee? Is that a vase that the naughty neighbor is trying to check for a key under? So many questions. It’s a little hard to tell but it’s easy as pie to know that this is a dum-dum neighbor caught doing something he shouldn’t have been. Personally, I don’t know what I would be more disturbed by, the theft/violation or the germs.
12. Where’s Your Name, B****?
Wait! Don’t hit play yet! First, close your eyes and picture an old woman choosing from a bountiful harvest from a vegetable garden for her dinner. Quaint, right? Okay, now keep that conjured image while you hit play. Sweet little old church lady, this is obviously not. This woman is on permanent DGAF mode with a mission for stolen veggies. Her words could make the most seasoned sailor blush and that voice could peel the most stubborn of paint off the walls. On a positive note, rhubarb is packed with health benefits, some of those being increasing oxygenation of essential areas of the body. Hopefully, the stolen rhubarb will work its magic and allow circulation to flow freely to this bucket of sunshine’s brain, making her personality a little more tolerable. For more neighbors with larceny in their hearts, please keep scrolling down the list. And don’t call me sweetheart, honey bunch!
11. Partners in Daytime Crime
In San Luis Obispo, the climate is cool, the history is rich and the neighbors look out for one another. Unluckily for these two local vagabonds who were clearly up to no good in the middle of the day as they cased this neighborhood, spotted something of use to add to their overflowing white minivan, jumped over the balcony and lifted their prized stolen object. When they hear the neighbor yelling at them and realize they’ve been Neighborhood Watched the entire time, they hesitate slightly before putting it back and drive off in their getaway vehicle so quickly, they forget to close the back hatch, exposing all of their other loot (or possibly perfectly legal random items stuffed inside). Or maybe they drove off without closing the back so that the neighbor couldn’t get their license plate number on tape. You can’t blame the neighbor for cursing out the thieves, it’s a violating feeling to see your neighbors get robbed, especially in broad daylight. In the end, they put it back. Perhaps they were inspired by the threat of a 911 call or just hoped not to end up with their faces on the web? Oops, too late.
10. The Grunge Who Stole Christmas
Watching this, I’m not sure who I feel sorrier for… the person getting their packages stolen or the poor grungy grinch ready to get the tinsel kicked out of him by the barefoot, shirtless neighborhood avenger with the assistance of fellow neighbor Bob on camera duty. Hector Martinet or “Big Hec” as he is apparently called around the Spokane, Washington neighborhood. This video comes with a bit of controversy. Big Hec made it to the Spokane evening news, KXLY Channel 4, after submitting his video but some don’t find Big Hec as “heroic” as the claims from his own channel would have you believe. KXLY 4 reported that instead of being thanked, what Big Hec would really appreciate is money in his GoFundMe account. Even though the big guy claims the money is to help with the care of his child’s illness, many people find the whole situation too convenient. Though the theft is believed to be real (an arrest was made according to KXLY 4), many think that Hec went over the top on purpose, going vigilante to play to hero and get his fifteen minutes. YouTube is riddled with “staged” and “fake” comments. Hec’s got this haters and his fans. Which side are you on?
9. Cops’ Wives Club
It was Christmas 2015 and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd (whom I think looks to be a doppelgänger to Bob Saget, do you agree?) was being upstaged at his job… by his dear wife. This story is about three wives of law enforcement officials and how their lives came to intersect one Christmas. Mrs. Judd, apparently an avid Facebook fan, told her husband about an interesting post from another local in Lakeland, Florida. A woman, who just so happened to be the wife of a police officer, posted footage from their home security cameras catching a woman who approached their package-laden doorstep at night, Hefty bag in tow. The camera caught excellent shots of the thief, coming and going, and the cop’s wife wanted to see if anyone could help identify her. Via Mrs. Judd, Sheriff Grady caught wind of the story and someone did indeed identify the thief… as the wife of another local law enforcement officer! The thief, Dana Hager, turned out to be a neighbor of the victims and after seeing the Facebook post herself, returned the opened packages to their rightful doorstep. Her husband’s in-uniform picture next to her driver’s license didn’t help her out as she was arrested, her husband likely mortified and gossip will always be thick for block parties to come.
8. Most Profitable Neighborhood Package Thief
“Neighborhood package thief” may conjure up images of a down and out derelict, perhaps some neighbor’s troublesome relative staying with them for a while. Most likely, you wouldn’t think of a Jaguar driver as a postman-stalking package robber. Nonetheless, this pink-shoed thief walked right up to this door in Poulsbo, Washington in 2015 despite warning signs about being videotaped and stole, unbeknownst to her, a replacement ball joint for a ride-on lawnmower. The homeowner says that he’s unsure how the daytime door bandit makes any money with her stolen package hustle especially when the items aren’t expensive and seem hard and even impossible to resell for a good profit but you know you’re doing well if you drive away with those stolen packages in a shiny Jaguar. Personally, I think this is one of those cases where the crook is in it purely for the thrill. As if wearing bright pink shoes and driving around in a pretty luxury car isn’t a thrill enough!
7. Stealing From A 92-Year-Old Deaf Woman
During ninety two years of life, you’ll have plenty of chances to meet several good people as well as several bad people. Hopefully though, towards the end, you’ll be surrounded by only good. Sadly for Hazel Bywater of England, fate placed her next to a neighbor who seemed good but was really one of the bad people we’d rather avoid in life. Stealing from an elderly woman who trusted Gillian King to run errands for her is very low on the karma totem pole. Thankfully, Ms. Bywater’s son was clever enough to install security cameras in his mother’s house to catch the no-good neighbor. Apparently, she was stealing from other elderly neighbors who also came to trust and rely on her. No wonder Ms. King always seemed so eager to run errands and help out the old folks who lived nearby! To make matters more tragic, Ms. Bywater is deaf, so that pretty much makes Gillian King one of the meanest ladies in England.
6. Her Angelic Ticket To Hell
Speaking of that karma totem pole… this is stealing from a different kind of neighbor (of sorts) and this is as shady as it gets. The grieving parents who noticed items missing or vandalized from their son’s grave prompted the father to put up a camera to catch the conscious-less robber— and it worked. They caught a woman who plucked an angel statue off of the young man’s gravesite. The father posted the video to try and identify the woman, who saw herself and turned herself into the authorities. She claimed to be visiting the grave of a family member but never gave a clear answer for the reason behind the theft which makes it all the more sad. The irony is rich as the woman committed a devilish act, stealing an angel statue which had been on the grave for ten years. But the price she’s paying for that theft is also rich with her face clearly displayed. How do you come back from that?
5. That’s My Story And I’m Sticking To It
This gal is a prepared package thief. But that doesn’t mean she’a s bright one. She has got her lines down pat. “My mom lives here.” She is so well-rehearsed that even in the face of the homeowner stating, “No, I live here”, she continues on with her charade in the hopes that maybe if she is convincing enough, he will follow suit and believe her. The would-be neighborhood thief, Rhianna Medina from Alhambra, California, learned the hard way that intent is everything. She was caught and arraigned on three felony charges including grand theft of personal property because the homeowner’s video showed the judge that the intent was there to steal the packages. As it turns out, the packages were valued at around $1,000 but they probably didn’t have the valuables that she was looking for as they were parts for the homeowner’s business. Pretty bad gamble there, Rhianna. You can check out what happens to her in court here:
4. Selective Spanglish
This lady in mint green is so consumed with her thievery that she fails to notice the presence of the man behind her, recording her every move. And he just happens to be the owner of the car that she’s raiding. Extra dumb thief points for pretending to speak only Spanish, then having a Spanish speaker show up and not having a thing to say en Español. In her nervous attempt to get out of the sticky fingered situation, she rambles on with a convoluted story… something about her husband, the police, her son… pretty sure she was making it all up as she went. Unfortunately for her, the angry couple didn’t buy a single sentence of the Spanglished story. The woman of the couple continuously tries to get the woman back on track several times saying that her story does not explain why she was rifling through their car but to no avail. Just goes to show, even when you’re in your own neighborhood, lock up that car!
2. The Evil Elf
Why is it that the holidays always seem to bring out the worst in some people? Christmas cheer is supposed to be about getting into the spirit of giving and being there for your neighbor. One neighbor from Middletown, Ohio apparently thinks that Christmas is open season on lawn decorations. The strange aspect to this story is that in a relatively small town, stealing seasonal outdoor decorations seems pretty pointless. Surely this thief wasn’t planning to put them up in her own yard? There’s always the possibility that she was trying to re-sell them but that seems to pose a risk as well that doesn’t seem to be worth the $350 in total estimated value profit. Maybe she’s putting them inside her home? After all, what says Christmas better than a six foot Snowman and Garfield and Odie carousel stolen from a six year old, crammed into a grown woman’s family room?
2. So That’s Where The Cheerios Went
This is probably the most disturbing “neighbor” caught stealing on this list though I can’t call her the stupidest. Imagine setting up a camera to catch your significant other eating food they claimed they weren’t eating (relationship red flags would be flying all over the place but that’s a different story) and instead you catch a secret roommate, someone not on the rental agreement and not paying their share of the rent. In something out of a scary movie, an nymph-ish looking woman descends from a strange cubby hole (a vent perhaps?) near the ceiling feet first, sporting a serious case of bedhead or cubby hole head and proceeds to make herself right at home and takes things a disgusting step further by urinating in the kitchen sink. She continues to raid the fridge like a teenage babysitter and drinks right out of the juice container. Traumatizing germophobes everywhere, hours later, we see the rightful tenant take a glass-free swig from the same container. Ew, ew, ew. As troubled as I am by this video, I can’t help but envision a brand new show on HGTV aimed at that person looking for who can entertain themselves for long periods of time, enjoys the night and is looking to save on rent: “Cubby Hole Hunters.”
1. Not Your Average Purse Nabber
While I wouldn’t accuse any of the people who made it on this list of being the next Frank W. Abagnale, Jr., I was hard pressed to find one more worthy of the #1 spot than Daniel Price. Not only did he attempt to steal the package when the homeowner was home, this Clyde left his Bonnie in the car (effectively making her an accessory to his failed criminal endeavor) and he wasn’t fast enough to run off before the smart homeowner chased after him, saw his wife’s purse on her lap and grabbed it. Worst. Criminal. Ever. You know things are bad when you try to rob someone and you end up getting robbed. Mrs. Price was “robbed” in a justified manner and thanks to the couple’s slow-witted thinking, the whole world gets to put a name to the face caught on camera. Congratulations, Mr. Price, you’re #1!