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North Seattle package and auto theft suspect arrested in Reno, NV

RENO, NV — Melissa Gonzales is being held the Washoe County jail on several charges including Obtaining and Using Personal Identification Information of Another, Petty Larceny and Resisting a Public Official. She was arrested and booked on April 18, 2017. Jeremy Sitz is still wanted. 

 

SEATTLE — One homeowner in the Maple Leaf neighborhood of North Seattle says she was so fed up with package and mail thieves that she jumped into action when she spotted one on her neighbor’s porch Tuesday.

“I see him pick up the package and I know he shouldn’t be there and I bang as hard as I can on the window to get his attention,” said Holly who didn’t want her last name used for her safety.

She was home watching a movie with her family when she spotted the man next door.

“And then he just looks at me like, what, what? I’m supposed to be here,” said Holly but she knew better. She raced outside with her phone.

“I see all of a sudden there’s a second car and I can see very clearly I can take pictures so I just start taking as many pictures as I can,” she said.

The suspect wasn’t alone. Thanks to the photos that Holly took, Seattle Police say they have identified the suspects as Jeremy Sitz and Melissa Gonzales.  Both were driving stolen Audi vehicles.

“She's yelling at me, ‘what are you doing’ and I said, I'm taking pictures for the police.”

Detectives say Gonzales is also a suspect in a package theft earlier this month on 121th Ave NW.

"She walks up on the porch and she looks at a package, picks it up, looks at it again and casually walks off the porch, retraces her steps back to a vehicle which is a stolen Audi,” said Ret. Det. Myrle Carner with Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound.

He says the Audi vehicles they are driving were stolen from a dealer in the University District. They are believed to be living the cars.

“They have yet to be recovered so we need your help to find them and particularly the suspects in this case,” said Carner.

Because of her brave actions, Holly is a neighborhood hero. I even presented her with a Washington’s Most Wanted hat for her quick thinking. Still, officers told her she should have stayed inside to keep safe. Does she have any regrets?

“Absolutely not, glad to be here. Glad to be part of this amazing neighborhood for 17 years and we're here to protect it,” said Holly.

Gonzales was convicted of two ID Theft cases and Possession of a Stolen Vehicle. She was sentenced on March 9, 2015 to four months on each case with the sentences to run concurrently.

If you have any information that helps police locate Gonzales or Sitz, Crime Stoppers will pay you a cash reward of up to $1,000. Call the hot line anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS or use the P3 Tips App on your phone.