TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – Nearly two dozen packages went missing, and some were tossed in front of the home of a North Texas fire chief. He took to social media to spread the word.
When Mike Barton saw an unmarked white van parked in front of a fence, something didn’t seem right.
“I saw what looked like packages, and I thought, ‘I better go find this guy and get his plates,'” said Barton.
Scattered on the grass, he found discarded Amazon boxes and envelopes, so he started trailing the driver.
Barton said he followed the driver to a Shell gas station. “I pulled in to get gas… acted like I was getting gas,” he said.
Inside a nearby dumpster were more packages. Some of the people that were supposed to receive them reached out Barton.
“A lot of people were saying, “Did you call police? Did you call the sheriff? Did you report it to Amazon?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I did. I’ve done everything I can do,'” said Barton.
Barton is also the chief of the Eagle Mountain Volunteer Fire Department. His deputy chief snapped some more photos of the packages.
Most of the boxes were empty – except for the bubble wrap.
“He was going in the neighborhood just tearing them open. I guess if he wanted them, he’d keep them,” said Barton. “Nerf guns he apparently didn’t want.”
The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department now has the packages and envelopes – about 25 in all. Some of the victims were Barton’s neighbors.
“I thought it was the right thing to do, to let the community know, ‘your packages aren’t coming,'” said Barton. “It’s pretty low. You can do some bad things, but when you’re taking Christmas gifts that are for people, that’s about as low as you can get in my opinion.”
Sheriff’s deputies ran the license plate of the driver but haven’t released what they have found.
Amazon sent a statement to CBS 11 that said, “This person was contracted to deliver Amazon packages through a locally based service provider. Amazon requires delivery service providers to conduct background checks for their drivers. Amazon is reaching out to customers to make this right.”