Metro

Tewksbury police searching for woman behind 4 doorstep package thefts

The woman suspected in a series of Tewksbury package thefts.
Tewksbury Police Department
The woman suspected in a series of Tewksbury package thefts.

Police are searching for an unidentified woman who allegedly stole four packages from the doorsteps of several Tewskbury homes this week, Tewksbury police said.

The four thefts occurred Sunday night and Monday, and were committed by a woman who appeared to be pregnant, in surveillance footage taken from one victim’s porch and posted online by police.

Police also provided images of a white or silver four-door sedan taken from the surveillance footage, but did not know the make or model of the car.

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Tewksbury police Detective Lieutenant Ryan Columbus said the thefts were reported on Main Street and North Street from Sunday night through Monday. Two thefts occurred near each other on each street, he said.

Tewksbury Police Department
The four-door sedan used by the suspected thief.
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“They were probably within a couple miles of each other” and happened around the same time Monday, while one was reported around 11 p.m. Sunday, he said.

“This one is a little bit unusual, where there was four in one day. We have seen the thefts before but they were more sporadic,” Columbus said. “For the person to be on Main Street in a busy area with cars going by, and to just walk up to peoples’ doorsteps and take the packages, is pretty brazen.”

He said police did not recover any stolen items after the thefts, but that opened shipping boxes linked to the victims’ homes were found later Monday.

“We actually got a call from a woman on a neighboring street, on Brentwood Road, who actually said they had a lot of boxes on their property,” Columbus said. “They had address labels on them,” which police matched to the homes that had reported missing packages.

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Columbus said that the four incidents this week appear to be related, and that more thefts could be reported as time passes.

“We may find out later that people were waiting on stuff that they thought was coming and it never came,” he said. “It is more prevalent in the holiday season, as are most thefts.”

Columbus said police hope someone in Tewksbury may be able to identify the suspected thief from the surveillance images that were released, but that she may also have traveled from out of town to carry out the thefts.

“One of the things we’ve seen in the past is that there are people who have come from as far as New York or other states and are perpetrating these acts,” he said.

Columbus advised that those ordering packages have options to make deliveries more secure. Customers can schedule deliveries for times they will be home, request that a signature be provided at delivery, have packages delivered to a post office or delivery outlet rather than a home, and ask that packages be placed in less visible areas around their home.

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He also asked residents to watch others’ homes for unusual activity, and to report it.

“Look out for your neighbors,” he said. “If you see something suspicious, please call us.”

Ben Thompson can be reached at ben.thompson@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Globe_Thompson