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Christmas Package Thief Caught On Surveillance Video

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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – A holiday Grinch is targeting a neighborhood in Fort Worth.

The Sterba family says a thief stole some of their Christmas gifts. “Almost right from under the tree,” Rob Sterba exclaimed. “It’s infuriating! You feel violated. Someone comes and takes something that’s not theirs.  We were raised with morals and integrity.”

The male thief snatched the gifts from outside the north Fort Worth home on Thursday — in broad daylight.

What did he get away with? Rob Sterba said, “It was vitamins and couple of sweaters for my 65-year-old mother.”

Heather Sterba is heartbroken. “That is just wrong.”

The thief was caught on the family’s video surveillance cameras, outside the home.

Rob Sterba described what is seen on the video. “You see a guy walking straight up as if he lived here. [He] walks over, picks up the packages, turns around and with almost a grin on his face walks straight out down the path.”

The family called police and have plastered wanted flyers all over their neighborhood.

“If anybody knows who this is hold him accountable for his actions,” the family urged. “Turn him in and send the message that this isn’t acceptable.”

Investigators say they’ve gotten a number of stolen package reports and calls and are investigating them all.

A spokesperson with the Fort Worth Police Department recommends that residents contact their delivery service for options for package delivery, especially when you will not be home.

Police also advise that you, as a resident or a neighbor, report any suspicious activity in your area.

Here are some other package or mail delivery tips:

  • Always lock your doors and windows, even if you plan to be out for a short amount of time
  • Leave lights turned on both inside and outside your residence after dark. Criminals do not like bright places.
  • If you plan on being away from home for several days, make arrangements to have someone pick up your mail and newspapers. An overstuffed mailbox is sure sign that no one is home and burglars are tempted to check those envelopes for holiday gifts. The use of automatic lights inside the home will give an appearance that someone is present.
  • Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home
  • If you won’t be home, have your package delivered to another address or have it delivered on a different day when you are home

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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