Not so fast: Neighborhood baits package thief, snaps pictures of crook

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MILL CREEK, Wash. – Neighbors claim that package thieves have targeted their Snohomish County neighborhood so many times that homeowners are now banding together to put a stop to it.

Neighbors said the same car has been circling the streets for days snatching up deliveries. So one homeowner decided to bait the thieves by placing an empty box on her front door step.

When the crooks came calling, she surprised them with her cell phone staring them in the face.

“A couple days ago someone had stolen our packages and that’s what made me want to do this,” said Gabriela Sykes.

Sykes printed warning flyers which now greets neighbors in the Crossing at North Creek development. When Sykes again saw thieves casing her neighborhood she decided to turn the tables on the crooks with a clever trap.

“It’s an empty box full of Styrofoam,” she said.

The box was a bust and the crooks never saw it coming.

“Pulled out right in front of my house and I had my camera ready,” she said. “That’s when I opened the door and I jumped out with my camera and I took a picture of them. He didn’t have time to react. He just turned around, shut the door, got in his car and left.”

A close inspection of Sykes’ photo shows the thief’s car’s back seat was already filled with boxes.

Sykes shared the pictures with neighbors and police who are now investigating. Other neighbors applaud Sykes effort, but say more needs to be done. Renee Visitacion is so frustrated she could scream.

She claims to have watched the package heist go down, and that’s when she said she chased the car through the streets and snapped a photo of the license plate.

“Those are Christmas gifts for kids, birthday gifts, hardworking people that are ordering online because they don’t have time to shop and you’re taking that from them,” said Visitacion.

Neighbors hope police will catch the thieves and put an end to their package pilfering.

“I really just want him to go to jail,” said Sykes. “It’s a crime. It’s not your packages; it’s not your money. It’d be nice if they purchased their own items.”

Both FedEx and UPS encourage their customers to have packages delivered to their office if someone isn’t going to be home. They also suggest asking a trusted neighbor to take in deliveries.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


  • The World is Ending

    If the crook gets cauct all he will have to do is get a lawyer from the ACLU who will argue that his picture was taken without his consent and get it and any other evidence gathered by its use tossed out.

  • Kenneth Briggs

    I even heard that some one even put a package of dog poop out for the crook to take . hope they got a license plate number so that everone can go and claim the stuff that belongs to them . catch them before xmas and put them in jail be nice to set one up that would blow up in front of them so that then they have no hands .

    • Glen

      I like the dog poop idea. Now if there was a way to rig a small explosive charge in with the poop that goes off upon opening. Not enough charge to hurt someone, but just enough to spray dog poop all over him/her. That would be funny!

  • Skeika

    I live close by and have had packages stolen off our porch in the past. One was sent from a family member deployed over seas and I was devastated. To the lady who did this you are awesome.

  • Kat

    Photo on Facebook of the car (white, older model Subaru Outback, with the bait package visible in the vehicle) got the Washington license plate number: 194 – XHE. Sounds like there’s not been much of a police response as yet, hopefully that changes soon and in the interim, please keep an eye out for your and your neighbor’s sake!!

  • squirmin herman

    Next time, be ready with a knife or a sharp screwdriver and disable the getaway car by puncturing at least one tire. This guarantees that the police can arrive before he gets too far – or it will slow him down to where a group of neighbors can deal with him on their own without the police.

    • Mark R

      The whole “innocent until proven guilty thing”. They don’t want to post anything that identifies a suspect before they are charged.
      With that said, license plates are not a protected form of ID, so they are legal to post. Which is why you see people posting it on FB.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.