Neighbor Helps Nab Alleged Thief

When a Quinnipiac Avenue neighbor spotted a man stealing packages, he took off after the guy, and chased him right into police custody.

Here’s what happened, according to police spokesman Officer Dave Hartman:

Quinnipiac Avenue has seen a number of thefts of packages recently, a neighbor told cops. “He said he’d found empty cardboard packages in his yard and had traced the packing slips to his neighbors addresses,” Hartman said. “He said he returned the emptied boxes to neighbors, and left notes to contact him with any questions.”

Meanwhile the neighbor kept a close eye on people passing by. On Monday he spotted a man walk up to a house on Aner Street, open a package waiting outside the house, and empty its contents into a black bag. As he walked off, the neighbor and a friend stopped him and asked what he was doing.

“Just collecting cans,” the man replied, then took off running.

The neighbor gave chase, while dialing 911. As Officers Odino Rasile and Carlos Colon responded to the call, the neigbhor kept chasing and stayed on the phone with the dispatcher.

“The pursuit traversed Quinnipiac Avenue, Welcome Street, Grand Avenue, Front Street, Exchange Street, East Pearl Street, back to Grand Avenue, and then finally into the path of Officer Rasile on Clinton Avenue, where [the alleged thief] ran into a pair of the officer’s handcuffs,” Hartman said.

Officer Colon went to the house on Aner Street and retrieved empty boxes there.

“The packing slips, still affixed to the boxes listed every item in the bag held by [the alleged thief, who] told the officers he didn’t take the items, but had rather received them from someone named “Jose” who’d told him to meet him at C-Town. He admitted he knew the items were stolen and shouldn’t have taken the bag,” Hartman said.

Cops didn’t buy the story and arrested the man on charges of trespassing and larceny. They recovered a few bottles of perfume and some shirts.

Hartman said the incident is part of a holiday crime trend, and offered some tips on keeping packages secure:

“This type of crime is not new, however it becomes more frequent during the weeks leading up to the holidays. There are several cases being investigated by the New Haven Police regarding thieves who steal delivered packages, left outside someone’s door while they’re not home. In some cases, we believe the thief has actually followed the delivery trucks on their route.

“The Police Department suggests the following steps be taken to help safe-guard your property:

1. Use the tracking information provided by the carrier to anticipate a delivery. Often you can request a delivery time or window when it’s convenient.

2. If you are unable to receive the delivery, you may be able to request it be picked up at their facility rather than having it delivered.

3. Ask a trusted neighbor to collect it for you if it’s delivered while you’re out.

4. If a delivery driver notices he’s being followed, call the Police.”

For block-by-block year-to-date crime info, check the Independent’s Crime Log.

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