Grinches steal packages from Central Texas homes

Grinches steal packages from Central Texas homes

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It's a big concern for anyone trying to enjoy the holiday season; thieves are taking it to another level.

Whether you live in an apartment or a home, thieves are driving around, picking up packages from front porches or taking things from mailboxes. It's becoming a wide-spread problem.

One by one, residents of Rolling Hills are becoming the victim of a rash of holiday thefts.

"When they get home in the afternoon it shows a package has been delivered, but the package is not there." 

This surveillance image show's a female over the weekend get out of her truck, grab a package from a home and walk off.

"We had residents right in here," Rollingwood Hills Police Detective Joel Martin said.

Bastrop County has also been hit hard, with the sheriff's office reporting more than 100 people being affected within the past two months.

A surveillance camera at one home captured the suspect you see in this photo.

"Seasonal cards, holiday cards have been opened...apparently these people are looking for money and gift cards. I did have one residents say all of her credit card statements were stolen," said Mari McDonald with the Tahitian Village Property Owner's Association.

McDonald sent an email warning residents that two boys were seen going through mailboxes in the early morning hours. It's something that has caused the holiday cheer to completely disappear.

"My fear is that somebody, a kid, is going to get shot is what I'm afraid of. He may be doing something he shouldn't be. But people are talking about rigging up wires in their backyard, they're talking about, I have my gun loaded," McDonald said.

Sixty-year old Deborah Cortez lives by herself and hopes it doesn't get to that point, but she and many other residents are scared. She says they didn't bargain to live in the hood.

"You don't want to worry about your dogs being shot. You don't want to worry about someone riffling through your mailbox. You don't want have to worry about people flying down the street," Cortez said.

Ashley Weldon says she has been fortunate, many of her neighbors haven't been so lucky.

"It's just crazy because it's happening everywhere. And they're just throwing the mail out along the street and taking the money or the gift cards or whatever is in there...I just hope they get caught," Weldon said.

Here are some prevention tips:

You can request a signature or an indirect signature as a delivery option, that way you or a neighbor must sign for the package.

If you live in an apartment community, you can have the office hold your packages.

You can go to fedex.com or ups.com to get set up for text alerts, that way you know exactly when your package is delivered.

Authorities tell us if you find a package or mail that is not yours, don't touch it.

Instead call them so they can pick it up and pull fingerprints to possibly identify a suspect.

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