Grinches steal packages at front doors

Thefts happen in broad daylight when residents aren't home

(iStock / sjlocke)

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Think about it: You've made sure to order your stuff in time for it to arrive for the holidays. It'll come right to your door so you can wrap it and be done.

But from right under your nose, someone walks up to your door and steals those gifts you took the time and money to buy.

That's exactly what is happening in Julington Creek Plantation in St. Johns County.

Crooks are taking stuff from right off residents' front porches.

"Well, it's pretty sad that people can't have their own front porch and know it is safe and secure," resident Bob DeFord said.

What's even more frustrating for DeFord is that the crime happened to his neighbor. She wasn't home, hence the reason packages were left outside during the day. But the police report says she had two different packages stolen within a few days of each other. The report says the thefts happened between the time the packages were delivered and 5 p.m. -- in broad daylight.

"It's just a sad thing," resident Marcus Johns said. "It's the holidays. You shouldn't have to worry about something like that."

The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office says the Grinches stealing folks' packages are described as two heavy black women. Deputies said they are driving an olive green SUV.

Another pair of crooks was also seen doing the same thing and were seen driving a silver Mitsubishi with the license plate No. 3985HR.

The police report says the two women were later seen dumping more than fifty empty boxes into a Dumpster in Orange Park.

"From the neighborhood standpoint, it's safe, everyone knows watch out for each other," DeFord said. "On the other hand, you've got a bunch of old people, and people could think, 'I could take advantage of them.'"

To combat that, neighborhood associations have handed out warnings to neighbors, and deputies say folks should ask each other to keep an eye on things, pick up packages for each other and immediately report anything out of the ordinary.

"We take care of each other and look out for each other's stuff, which is something I'd recommend to every neighborhood," Johns said.

Anyone with any information about the thefts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.