Serial package thief strikes on Long Island; takes deliveries, leaves garbage

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated.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.

MALVERNE, N.Y. — A package thief hitting several Nassau County towns has an unusual M.O.

The suspect swipes packages from the front of homes, then leaves a package behind, usually filled with old clothes or garbage.

According to Malverne Police, there’s been five cases so far. There is at least one case in Rockville Centre. All the incidents have taken place in recent weeks.

Residents who live in targeted neighborhoods are on edge.

“It’s very creepy especially this time of year,” said one Malverne resident.

Malverne Police posted a warning on Facebook.

The suspect swipes packages but leaves in its place one he brought with him, the contents, not usually items you’d have on your wish list for Santa.

“I would suggest they contact neighbors and maybe have their neighbors take packages in if they're expecting something or maybe have the delivery person put the packages in a secure area somewhere not observed from the street,” said Lt. Jason Moss, with Malverne Police.

Police say the suspect is trying to blend in - to make himself look like a delivery person - dropping off or picking up packages. But if this guy is into re-gifting he’s not exactly leaving behind stuff you’d want.

“Our residents are very observant and they're calling in on suspicious people in area,” adds Lt. Moss.
The contents of the box, bizarre.

“Like paper and old sneakers and old shirts. They were quite shocked especially when the boxes contain trash,” said Lt. Moss.

Malverne police say the suspect is driving around in an older model Chevy van with a porthole window in the back. The vehicle has newer New York State plates.

“He observes these packages, he stops his van, gets out has a package in his hand, goes up to the doorstep, exchanges the package and then returns to his vehicle and leaves the location,” said Lt. Moss.

Residents are frustrated. One telling PIX11, “Even if you have a camera, if you’re not there and you see somebody doing this you can say here’s the tape and give it to the police but you’re not going to prevent someone from actually doing something unless you’re there,it’s very unfortunate.”

Police describe the suspect as a black male possibly in his 30s, with short dark hair and a thin build. Authorities are urging anyone who sees something suspicious, to give them a call.