Thieves steal packages and replaces them with empty packages across Austin

Austin police are warning everyone to be extra mindful when having packages delivered to your home. 

In October, there have been several reported package thefts across the city. Some of those thieves have been caught on camera. 

APD said this an ongoing problem which happens year round. As we get into the holiday season they said they tend to see more of these cases in the area as people order holiday gifts online.

Less than a minute, that's all it took for one thief caught on camera to not only steal a package but replace it with an empty box. 

“Unfortunately people don't understand that stealing is against the law but that's what's going on and it is a problem,” said David Daniels with the Austin police department.

On the opposite side of town, a similar story. 

“It makes you feel violated, somebody just came up and stole stuff, it's like stealing from a store, it's wrong to do,” said Alton Martin who had 2 packages stolen from his front porch. Earlier this week,

Martin was expecting a couple of packages to be waiting for him at his home in south Austin, when he got home from work he found packages, just not his.

“Opened up the front door and realized they weren't addressed to me and they had been open and the contents removed,” said Martin.

Being a frequent online shopper, Martin said he had someone just walk up and take his stuff. 

“I'm going to get my stuff either delivered to a locker or my office so I don't have to worry about it,” said Martin.

“If you can try to arrange to where you will be at home when the package is delivered if not get with a neighbor and let them know there's going to be a package delivered and if they mind picking it up,” said Sgt. Daniels. 

Daniels said security cameras or doorbell cameras are also a good investment.

“Purchasing that type of system would be great and it provide fantastic evidence to capture those individuals,” said Sgt. Daniels.
For now, Martin said he hopes others will take note before ordering gifts online for the holidays.

APD also recommends people get to know their neighbors so they know who should or shouldn't be in the area. 

One option is the Next-Door app, it’s a social media site for neighborhoods, this way neighbors can help look out for each other.

In this case APD said the suspect is a white male driving a 2014-2015 Camaro with black rims and tinted windows. If you have any information, please contact APD.