Package thief on the loose in Manhattan as holidays approach

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MANHATTAN — Police say 41-year-old man  is responsible for package thefts in Manhattan apartment buildings from Manhattanville to Tribeca.

Evaristo Melendez  allegedly stole packages seven times from six different buildings since Sept. 28.

Deliveries disappeared at a Claremont Avenue apartment building on Oct. 26. Jaci, a tenant of the building, told PIX11 one of her packages from Amazon was swiped.

“I just imagine that when people are coming in, people are just coming in behind them,” she said.

In the weeks since then, residents have become more aware.

"People are trying to keep an eye out on what’s going on," Jaci said.

Packages were also stolen at a 72nd Street building near Broadway. Resident Richard Norton is now thinking twice about who he allows into the building,

"It’s very easy to buzz somebody in when they garble a voice. You say, ‘oh, ok I will buzz them in.’ You cant do that anymore.”

Police believe Melendez also allegedly stole packages from buildings on East 37th Street, West 24th Street and Duane Street.

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

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