Stinky revenge: Couple tricks holiday package thief into stealing box of dog poop

    A package with a special surprise inside. (WJLA photo)

    WASHINGTON (WJLA) – After falling victim to thieves who swiped packages off of their front porch several times, a Northeast D.C. couple decided to teach them a lesson.

    Tis the season for package thieves; many D.C.-area residents have recently caught robbers taking packages on surveillance. But for one couple, caught on camera wasn’t enough—they boxed up a stinky surprise from their two dogs.

    About 3 p.m. Friday, surveillance footage shows a man walking up and down the sidewalk in front of their home, before stealing their package and taking off. The caught-on-camera incident marked the third package taken from their yard since October.

    “Obviously, it made me really mad,” said the woman, whom ABC 7 is not identifying. “I worked hard, saved my money, bought something and then it was just gone.”

    Angry, she and her boyfriend decided to place a fake package outside, and to move the camera so they could get a better angle if the robber hit again. He did on Monday, but this time, he got away with a box filled with dog feces.

    “I had originally wanted to put a note in the box that said, ‘Surprise! Please stop stealing my crap,’” the woman said.

    Others in the neighborhood laughed when they heard what the couple had done.

    “I think he deserves it,” one woman said.

    “You get what you deserve,” one man said. “What goes around comes around.”

    Another man added, “I bet you that’s the last time he stole from them, right?”

    That remains to be seen, but now the robber’s face is on television. The homeowners said they saw a white pickup truck passing by in both videos. They filed a police report and will be handling the delivery of their packages differently.

    “I have more faith that maybe he will be caught,” the woman said.

    Many residents asked ABC 7 News what Metropolitan Police are doing to stop such opportunistic crimes. A spokesperson said Thursday afternoon that officers in multiple police districts are in the midst of offensive operations to prevent package theft and arrest those responsible.

    Ken Wingert said he saw police in action in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

    “We’ve actually seen the D.C. [police] following the UPS truck around our neighborhood on a Segway,” he said.

    Do home surveillance videos of package thieves help? D.C. police sent ABC 7 links to eight videos currently on their YouTube page, which are open cases waiting to be solved (see videos below). Authorities say support from the public in providing video evidence has been invaluable.

    “I think it’s a pretty good idea,” one woman said.

    But police can’t be on every block; they can’t follow every delivery truck. So, they are asking residents when they see what looks like a holiday gift grab in progress to call 911 immediately. They also recommend witnesses give descriptions of the thief and their vehicle if they’re in one, and to take note of which direction they’re headed. But police say not to follow the thieves.

    Metropolitan Police say they’ve arrested 16 package thieves so far this year. They are still investigating package thefts that have occurred at the following locations and dates:

    900 block of Eighth Street NE - Dec. 3, 2014

    5000 block of Fifth Street NW - Nov. 24, 2014

    3300 block of Brown Street NW - Oct. 27, 2014

    1400 block of Fifth Street NW - July 14, 2014

    1100 block of R Street NW - April 11, 2014

    1200 block of Delafield Place NW - Oct. 31, 2013

    1100 block of R Street NW - March 25, 2014

    1000 block of Park Road NW - April 4, 2014

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