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Security camera catches thief in the act

Posted by Geeky Swedes on January 29th, 2010

A Ballardite who recently had packages stolen off their front porch sent us this email:

Our security camera recorded a woman stealing two packages off our front porch this past Tuesday. I’ve filed a police report but thought that it would be best to share the video as well. Here are some details:
– UPS delivered the packages at 2:25 PM, and the theft occurred at 2:43 PM, so the thief might have been trailing the delivery truck.
– The young woman in the video appears to be around 5’1″ to 5’3″ tall and took off in what appears to be a blue ’85-’89 Mazda 323 hatchback.

Package theft on 1/26 in Ballard from seattle vimeo user on Vimeo.

They got the motion-sensing camera last summer after they were hit last March while living in a different neighborhood. “I’m not a proponent of having cameras everywhere, but a camera aimed at our own porch/mailbox/entrance and part of our driveway seems reasonable to me.” (The person who emailed this to us asked that we not reveal the location of their home.)

Tags: Ballard   Share

92 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 nickbentley // Jan 31, 2010 at 2:30 am

    Jalopnik has a thread for car lovers and they have some good opinions on the type of car it is. I also posted some enhanced screenshots to help them whittle down the year of the car at

    It's really simple though, if she hasn't been caught yet just put out some bait for the next try. Maybe a big box with a GPS unit in it that will also give her route of other homes she's swiping stuff from.

  • 2 aptgal // Jan 31, 2010 at 3:58 am

    I like those t-shirts. Shut up.

  • 3 ballardsnowhite // Jan 31, 2010 at 7:17 am

    Over the last 3 years of living in Ballard I had smaller packages delivered to my house. It wasn't until this past Christmas when I had cleaning supplies (they no longer sold the scent I really liked locally) from

    The delivery came on a day where I did not come home until very late in the evening. When I was wondering a week or so after the order I checked the delivery status to find out it had been delivered the day I was out late.

    Unfortunate. I mentioned it to my block watch email list to inform the neighbors and asked our police liaison if I I should file a report. He said only if it happens again.

    The order got replaced at no charge (they must get this a lot). Instead of getting it delivered to home I had them ship it to work. Not my first choice but it does not cost anything aside from me having my hands full on the bus ride home.

  • 4 Chris // Jan 31, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    I don't recognize this person but hope that this video gets full coverage on the local news.

    My neighbors on Beacon Hill and I have been discussing video cameras and would be very interested in finding out what type of security camera and motion sensing device the person installed. The picture was very good and the instant notification would be great for immediately calling the police.

  • 5 Zuke // Feb 1, 2010 at 6:51 am,…

    Maybe this will help? Don't know where the original theft is, but this car is right in the neighborhood.

    In case the link doesn't work, just use Google Maps and StreetView. Go to 5910 22nd Ave NW, Seattle, WA

  • 6 Barney Stinson // Feb 1, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    No, its not.

  • 7 Barney Stinson // Feb 1, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Its a DOG. Not a human being. Keep them away from food and drinks. They have no business being in there. People like you are a pain the arse to the rest of us.

  • 8 LoyalG // Feb 1, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    We had the same thing happen at our home in Loyal Heights last year a number of times. One time I had a pair of shoes delivered and the theif took the package, then returned it a week later with only the box seam (tape) slit open with a knife so they could peek in. Strange behavior for a theif.

    So I set up a camera as well and tried to capture any other events but didnt get anthing. I am very leary now cause it seems to be a common occurance. I have started having anything important sent to The Mailbox on 24th & 80th – they charge a few bucks to recieve packages. But that is a shame, feels like the neighborhood is getting looted in many ways.

    A while back, we had a BBQ party in our back yard and a cooler of beer and soada was taken over night. I also often find empty tequilla bottles (always the same Jose Quervo) in our recycling in our alley. Strange things. We need to band together and watch for these losers, making me feel afrad for my wife and daughter. Time to start pushing back…

  • 9 LoyalG // Feb 1, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    By the way, if anyone is interested in a low-budget solution, I used a program called SurveillCam (cannot find the link now) but was a free shareware for PC. It just uses a standard USB web cam and you can set it for motion activation. I then set the web cam in the window pointing at my front yard and anytime someone enetered the scene it would start recording. At the end of the day when I got home Id check and tere would be 2 minutes or so of total activity during the day, cars driving by, mail man coming and going, people walking their dogs. Very interesting to see a compressed view of what happens at your place when your not there! Unfortunately I never caught the theivs stealing from our front door.

    You can find a lot of free or nearly free options for things like that here:
    Hope that helps!

  • 10 kqx // Feb 1, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    I'd expect a snappier comeback from Barney Stinson than “no it's not.” Plus, you live in NYC, so what would you know about Ballard?

  • 11 MMMnM // Feb 1, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    The same thing happened on my street (7th Ave NW ) in December. I was hanging Christmas lights on my tree outside and saw a woman go to my neighbor's house and picked up her package at the door. I confronted the woman and asked her what she was doing and she said she was “dropping off a package to her friend”. I knew she was lying and asked her what her friend's name was and she got aggitated and tried to walk past me with the package hidden under her arm. I don't know what came over me, but I grabbed the package from her and went inside my home. I immediately called the police and she drove off in the same type of car indicated in this article. There was also a man in the passenger seat completely reclined like he didn't want to be seen. She sped away with her lights off (and the street lights on our block are not working properly) so I was not able to get a good look at her license plate. I did see that this person had a child's sunscreen attached to the back left side window. Sad to think this person has a child too. I talked to the UPS driver the next day and he said he would try to be better about “hiding” packages. It makes me angry that we all work hard for what we have and this person feels its okay to just take what is not hers!!! I hope they catch this pathetic person!!!

  • 12 Ray // Feb 1, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    I love that a LOCAL BALLARD BUSINESS has simply stated that they have a potential solution for the victim, and a few people find it “distasteful.”

    Give me a break.

    For all the talk about supporting local businesses that goes on in the neighborhood and on the blog, I would think that people would support this kind of thing. It's not like the “advertisement” and the post are unrelated.

  • 13 SPG // Feb 1, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    I love dogs. Absolutely love them. BUT, I don't think it's a good idea to have dogs around food. Keep 'em outside.

  • 14 SPG // Feb 1, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    That's a Ford Escort.

  • 15 mailboss // Feb 1, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Wow, this is so blatant. Good for getting them on video! I hope the police really go forward with investigating this, though I wouldn't get my hopes up!

    Do you mind if we share this story on our blog:

    We blog about mail identity theft in the area and advocate the use of a high security locking mailbox to secure your mail and protect your identity. We also have a “package master” to protect packages, but unfortunately it is not large enough to accommodate packages of this size.

  • 16 mailboss // Feb 1, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    You might want to try a WALL MOUNT locking mailbox. Lots of people think if their mail is delivered to a mailbox on their house it is safe, but these thieves are pretty brazen and will stop at nothing to get your personal info for ID theft. Ace Hardware and True Value carry our Mail Boss wall mount, which can't be fished or pried open. There may be some other good options online as well, but make sure it has more than a “popcorn” lock on it… also, what to do if your mail is stolen:… … for the future…

  • 17 BH // Feb 2, 2010 at 12:18 am

    “I also often find empty tequilla bottles (always the same Jose Quervo) in our recycling in our alley. “

    The horrors!! We must find these rogue recyclers and bring them to justice forthwith!

  • 18 blueben // Feb 2, 2010 at 7:38 am

    As opposed to all of those incredibly clean humans who never sneeze on their hands, pick up something dirty, or get crud under their fingernails running around.

  • 19 Bronze950 // Feb 3, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Excellent video quality, what kind of camera is it?

  • 20 atworkcat // Feb 26, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I'm one of those nutty take-my-dog-everywhere kind of people, and I visit the Sip & Ship often, for both mail and coffee needs. I noticed when they stopped allowing dogs inside, but my dog is happy to sit outside and wait for a “cookie” that they very sweetly leave in a jar by the coffee accessories. I like the environment at the Sip & Ship, but I will agree with you that when they changed the rule about allowing dogs, the store is less pleasant, and here's why:

    They inserted seating for their coffee shop customers and this reduced the amount of merchandise they could display. They used to have twice as many cards, and many of those were purchase-worthy, and they had interesting gift items I liked to get for friends. Yes, they still have some interesting gift items, but not nearly as many, and so I can breeze through and decide there's nothing interesting to buy fairly quickly before heading out with my coffee to give my pup his treat.

    I very much used to enjoy spending some time browsing there, with or without my dog. And THAT is why I agree that it's not as good now that dogs aren't allowed, not because the dogs aren't allowed.

  • 21 Steeliedan5150 // Feb 17, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    I just spent 2500.00 on a motion tracking camera that covers my front property. The dome is visable to everyone and it is a must! I live in orting wa and our wooded residential house’s have been robbed in broad daylight by local scum and I believe a visable camera is a great deterrant. If they are dumb enough to show their vehical and or face, ya just print a picture and go door to door until you find out who it is. We do not wait for the police to just write a report. We take the law into our own hands in the country. Theift will be on the rise with this messed up economy and you have to be your own judge and jury. It is kind of sad to say but the cops can’t do a thing but reports. Theft is so rampid they evan show up shrugging their shoulders when your front door is hanging in half. The truth.

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