DENVER - Denver Police released surveillance video Friday of a thief snatching a box from a house porch as police warn residents about crooks tailing UPS and FedEx trucks in order to steal just-delivered packages.
In Police District 3, southeast Denver, 14 thefts have been reported since Jan. 1, and police said they suspect there are many that haven't been reported.
"This is a crime of opportunity," Denver Police Cmdr. Joe Montoya, who oversees District 3, told 7NEWS on Thursday. "There could be a group of people responsible for a series of them, but I don't think they're all connected."
The home surveillance video released Friday captures a crime committed at 5:42 p.m. on Feb. 12 in the 7000 block of East Ohio Drive.
The surveillance camera on a victim's front porch shows a silver sport utility with its headlights on, cruising down the street on an overcast afternoon. The SUV initially passes the home, then the woman driver backs the SUV up in front of the home. Either the driver or a passenger in the front seat has spotted a large boxed left on the porch by a delivery truck.
The dark-haired woman driver, wearing a black jacket and pants, gets out of the SUV and walks toward the home's front door, past a snow-covered lawn.
After vanishing from the camera's view briefly, the woman reappears, running with a large box under her arm toward the SUV. She hands off the box to the passenger through an open car window, and then drives off with someone's property.
Montoya said the thieves may be following delivery trucks or walking or driving through neighborhoods looking for packages.
On Thursday, 7NEWS talked with another southeast Denver homeowner who caught a thief on a surveillance camera stealing $200 worth of photography equipment from his front porch .
"I had known there was a package coming from UPS, so I waited the whole morning for it," said the homeowner, who only wanted to be identified as Bill. "We started getting hungry, and we were gone for exactly an hour for lunch."
That was long enough, he said, for UPS to drop off the package and the thief to pick it up and walk away -- all caught on camera.
"People say when someone breaks in you feel violated. I felt the same way," said Bill, who has since added another security camera so if the thief comes by again, there will be a better view of his face.