By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — ‘Tis the season for your holiday packages to be stolen right from your doorstep by modern day Grinches.

Over the weekend, Edina police arrested a man for stealing a bait package with a GPS tracking device inside it. And Monday afternoon, police arrested a woman, who was caught on camera, stealing a box containing a child’s toy from outside a home in Columbia Heights.

It was all captured on video outside a Columbia Heights home last week. A woman grabs a package, which police tell us contains a child’s toy. At the same time across the street a man also takes a package from outside a home. He then gets into the car with the woman.

The video has been posted to local social media crime fighting sites and Monday afternoon Columbia Heights arrested a woman, whose name they are not yet releasing.

“The video was extremely helpful,” Sgt. Matthew Markham said. “The video was very clear. There is no doubt in our mind that the person that we arrested is the person that’s in the video.”

While the man is still at large, during the woman’s arrest police recovered other packages stolen from nearby door steps.

In Edina, police have arrested their own Grinch, tweeting this weekend they had caught a man identified as Raymond Hester stealing a bait package they had left outside a home on this street. Inside what appeared to be a box from a computer company was a GPS tracking device.

Local police are warning this could happen to you.

“It’s sad. People are ordering stuff, they are at work during the day, they are trying to get their packages, get things ready before Christmas and then someone comes along and just steals them and kids might go without a present,” Markham said.

Police from several departments we spoke with all offered the same advice:

  • When possible require a signature for any delivery.
  • Track package deliveries via text or email.
  • Get packages sent to your workplace or someplace where someone can receive it.
  • Consider a home surveillance camera. Systems are now available for under $200 that can be synced to your phone.
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