North Austin residents fighting back after package thieves hit several homes

An alleged package thief is caught on camera in North Austin. (Photo/video courtesy: Craig Becker)

Residents in the Scofield Farms neighborhood are fighting back after several packages were stolen off of the front porches of multiple homes.

The thefts happened Tuesday afternoon, and at least two of the instances were captured on home surveillance video.

Residents tell CBS Austin they think the same person or people are responsible for the thefts.

Two homes less than a mile away from each other were hit 24 minutes apart.

Both thefts were captured on surveillance video that shows the alleged thief wearing the same clothing in both incidents.

Craig Becker says he enjoys the convenience of having things delivered right to the front door of his north Austin home.

What he takes issue with is the cowardice of someone to swipe his new belongings right off of his front porch.

“When I saw the guy walking off with the package I was like 'yeah -- I got ripped off,'” Becker says.

Tuesday evening, when Becker and his wife were getting ready for bed, he said he got a message from Amazon that a package he was expecting had been delivered.

But when he looked outside and saw an empty front porch, he decided to check his surveillance footage.

“Sure enough there's video of the fellow delivering the package,” Becker says.

His package was delivered safely and left right on his front porch -- time stamped at 4:24 p.m., but it's what happens an hour later that stunned him.

“There’s video of some guy I’ve never seen before smoking an e-cigarette, picking up the package off the porch and walking off with it,” Becker says.

His camera is motion-activated and there was a delay in the start of the recording so we don't get a good look at the man's face, but just minutes later the same man appears to resurface on another resident’s security footage less than a mile away.

“Our neighborhood is pretty connected online and so we found out someone else an hour later got hit by the same people and their packages were stolen, Becker said.

The surveillance video, captured by the victim’s neighbor shows a strange black SUV pull into the driveway. At 5:47 p.m. a man wearing similar clothing to the first video walks up to the front door and leaves with several packages. It all happens in a matter of seconds.

The victim in that case did not want to go on camera, but told CBS Austin that three packages were stolen.

Two were from Amazon and one was from Shutterfly. That third package included a family picture printed on a canvas that the thieves tossed out near the community mailboxes around the corner. That was returned to the family by a neighbor, but the other two packages are still missing.

Becker is not making light of the situation, but couldn’t help but get amused by thought of the thief opening up his package.

“It’s solder for soldering and heat shrink tubing used to repair some frayed cables and I can only imagine the thieves face when they opened that,” Becker says.

Becker said his delivery was worth $17 and Amazon has already refunded it. His wife filed a police report and so have his neighbors on Kinkaid Ct.

Austin police confirm they have an open theft case on Kindkaid Ct, but have not said if these cases are connected.

Witnesses describe the suspect vehicle as a black Jeep Grand Cherokee or Volkswagen SUV. Neighbors reported seeing the suspects parked on Dapplegrey Lane Tuesday in front of the walkway near the birdhouses. It was seen with temporary, paper license plates and a magnetic white sign on the side that reads “The R Solution” or “We R the Solution.”

The male driver was described as wearing a striped shirt and baseball cap.

The woman passenger has dreadlocks and tattoos.

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