Police say package thefts peak during holidays; suspect in Holladay caught on camera

Posted at 5:37 PM, Dec 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-04 19:37:20-05

HOLLADY, Utah --- A family in Hollady learned a lesson about the prevalence of package thefts during the holidays, and police say there are steps people can take to protect their property from opportunistic perpetrators.

Police say they see an increase in package thefts during the holidays, which they partly attribute to the ever-increasing prominence of online shopping. With plenty of packages posted, some are left unattended and become tempting targets for thieves.

Laurie Lorenzon and her family learned that lesson the hard way, as surveillance footage shows a man calmly walking up to their property and picking up a package before fleeing.

The theft happened while the family was just a few feet away.

"We were in here having a birthday party for my son,” Lorenzon said. “We were home, and that's when it happened, you know, we had no idea."

It wasn't until the next day, and by a random circumstance, that she learned she'd been the victim of a thief.

"Yesterday, I got a call from a lady who lives further in Holladay, telling me she had found a ripped up box with a shipping label,” Lorenzon said. “She pieced it together, got my name, and looked me up and said, ‘I think it's a package of yours, obviously stolen.’”

Cops call it a classic crime of opportunity, which increases during the Christmas shopping season.

Fortunately for Laurie and her family, their item wasn't valuable and can be replaced. She said what stings the most is the sense of violation.

"But just the fact they came and stole something that doesn't belong to them...kind of disturbing,” she said.

Det. Michael Mays of the Unified Police Department said the thieves in such cases often have methods for increasing their odds of a successful heist.

"Suspects know that if they follow these trucks, that deliveries are going to be made,” he said. “Or often times, these packages are left on a porch."

Lorenzon said she's learned a valuable lesson and hopes others take precautions to protect themselves from similar crimes.

“Really be on alert and track your packages,” she said. “There's an app you can get to notify [you] when they're delivered, or pick a secure place to have them delivered."

If you happen to recognize the man in the video from this Holladay theft you’re asked to call Unified Police at 801-743-7000.