Porch pirate: Woman impersonated postal worker to steal packages in Scottsdale

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(Source: U.S. Postal Inspection Service) (Source: U.S. Postal Inspection Service)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A woman who impersonated a U.S. Postal Service worker stole packages from the front porch of a Scottsdale home and now USPS investigators are hoping you can help them identify her. If you have solid information, they're willing to pay.

It happened shortly after 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 11 in the area of Thompson Peak Parkway and Grayhawk Drive, and the victim’s security camera was rolling.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service released photos from that video Tuesday and announced that it is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the woman’s arrest and conviction.

The suspect is a white woman between 35 and 50 years old. She has blond hair with dark roots and a medium build. She also has tattoos on her left forearm and left thigh.

The photos show her wearing USPS uniform blouse.

According to the reward flyer put out by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the woman was seen in the passenger seat of a black or dark blue Nissan Sentra driven by an unidentified man.

Package thefts by so-call “porch pirates” are not uncommon, particularly during the holiday season, and it's not limited to packages delivered by USPS. No carrier is immune. An unattended box sitting on a doorstep is easy pickings for a porch pirate. 

Just last week Phoenix police arrested a man suspected of hitting an apartment complex near 32nd Street and Bell Road. Officers found several packages addressed to residents in Terrill James Peuse’s truck. Police said those people confirmed that their packages had been stolen.

[READ MORE: Phoenix police arrest suspected 'porch pirate;' packages found in his truck]

Last month, surveillance video caught a man in a U-HAUL pickup truck stealing package that had just been delivered to a Glendale home by UPS.

[READ MORE: Suspected porch pirate rolls up to Glendale house in U-HAUL truck]

There was a similar situation at another Glendale home a few weeks earlier.

[READ MORE: Caught on Camera: Thief takes package at homeowner's front door in Glendale]

While cameras are a great tool, they do not always deter thieves.

“Cameras are great for investigation but they seem to capture as many crimes as they might prevent,” Sgt. Jonathan Howard of the Phoenix Police Department told us last year.

There are some simple things you can do to keep from falling prey to a porch pirate.

[RELATED: How you can prevent package theft]

“Most of the major couriers allow for scheduled pickups and some have concierge services now,” Howard said. “People should consider having their packages delivered when they know they will be home or arranging to pick it up at the shipping facility. Arranging with a neighbor to pick up deliveries is another option.”

From USPS: 10 ways to protect your mail and package

  1. Avoid sending cash by mail.
  2. Don’t leave delivered mail and packages unattended.
  3. Consider an alternate shipping address.
  4. Change the package’s address while it’s in transit.
  5. Customize the delivery.
  6. Plan ahead. Ship using Hold for Pickup option.
  7. Going out of town? Hold mail at the local Post Office.
  8. Secure the shipment using USPS Signature Services.
  9. Choose the most secure form of delivery.
  10. P.O. Boxes might be the answer.

If you have any information about this incident, please contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455 and ask for “Representative” at the prompt. (Click phone number to call from this story on your mobile device.)

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