Package thieves identified after neighbors post shocking video online

CUMBERLAND TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WPMT) -- Police in Adams County are working to return dozens of stolen packages to their rightful owners. Cumberland Township officers said two men are driving through neighborhoods, stealing packages from front porches, then ripping off the labels.

A man was caught on surveillance camera in Conewago Township, Adams County, stealing a package off of the Boucher family's front porch. The Bouchers were hoping for a visit from Santa this holiday season, but instead got one from an unwelcome visitor.

Lucas Boucher said, "We got home and my wife noticed that a package was delivered at 1:30 p.m., so we figured someone had taken it. And we asked our neighbor who has a bunch of cameras to take a look and found somebody taking it."

He and his family have lived on Dakota Drive for years and have never had anything stolen from their home before.

"It's sad," Boucher said, "I mean it's a nice community, a nice area, there's no reason for all of that it's just stuff."

Officials believe two suspects are involved. Police received complaints since November from people in York and Adams Counties saying their packages were stolen.

Then recently someone from Cumberland Township called police to report a suspicious vehicle in their neighborhood. Authorities were able to identify the driver and found packages inside the car totaling $4-5,000.

Sgt. Tim Biggins with Cumberland Township Police said, "They recovered approximately 30 undelivered UPS, FedEx packages from all over Adams and York Counties."

In those packages were items from cashmere sweaters to cookware. But police got their biggest tip from social media when a neighbor in Conewago Township sent in that video.

Biggins said, "So that's what helped us with what we found on Wednesday night. Then we saw that and we started putting two and two together."

Most of the packages have been returned to their rightful owners. The Bouchers are excited to get their Ninja Cooking System back after it was stolen from their front porch.

Normally the holidays are supposed to be a time of giving and receiving gifts but not in this case.

Biggins said, "It's disheartening this time of year. People work hard to get this stuff and then it's stolen from them."

Officials advise you to get your packages delivered to your workplace or sign up for email notifications if you are concerned. Police said this is a felony, and the men could face jail time.

RELATED: Protect your possessions online, too -- here's how to avoid Facebook phishing scams:

How to avoid Facebook phishing scams
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How to avoid Facebook phishing scams

1. Exercise common sense

Why is somebody offering you something that costs them money to purchase - and to market - for free? Does there seem to be a legitimate reason for the offer? What value does the party giving away the object receive in return? Does that value warrant giving away the object - or is the offer simply too good to be true? As you probably learned as a child - "don't take candy from strangers."

2. Consider how much is being given away

Legitimate giveaways done for marketing purposes are typically inexpensive items, downloadable materials, or extremely small quantities of expensive items to a small percentage of sweepstakes winners selected from a targeted group; any offer that claims to be giving away large numbers of expensive items should raise a red flag as doing so rarely makes sense from a business standpoint, especially if the offer is being promoted to the general public on social media.

(Adam Gault via Getty Images)

3. Check if a page is verified

Most major businesses are verified (with a white check on a blue circle - some small businesses have similar marks that are white on gray), so if an offer is ostensibly coming from a large business and the page from which it is being posted is not verified, that may signal problems. Not all businesses are verified; if you see a post from a business that is not verified, however, you can search on the business's name and see if there is a verified account for the business - if there is, you know that the unverified account is likely fake.

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4. Look at the fine print

Legitimate sweepstakes and giveaways always have some sorts of "fine print" associated with them - if there are no "Offer Details," "Terms and Conditions," or the like, consider a huge red flag to have been raised.

(Reptile8488 via Getty Images)

5. Look for signs of an unprofessional post

Spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, misuse of idioms, writing that appears to have been auto-translated or written without knowledge of "how people speak," or photos that don't seem to match the post are all red flags. Do you really think a major firm running a marketing campaign doesn't check its content before posting it on Facebook?

(Just One Film via Getty Images)

6. Check the page's age and what appeared on it prior to the questionable post

it is a bad sign if a page was created right before an offer post was made. Of course, criminals know that people look out for page age - so they may create pages and post for a while before using the page for scams. So look out for what content was shared before? Does it make sense coming from the business? Do the comments on those posts make sense? Often there are giveaways on such pages that something is amiss.


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