Edmonton

Christmas criminals trailing delivery trucks through the streets, Edmonton police say

With Christmas fast approaching, police are warning that thieves have been spotted following delivery trucks through the streets, waiting for parcels to be dropped off, then making off with them before residents arrive home.

Between Nov. 1 and Nov. 28, officers investigated 17 parcel thefts throughout city

Delivery boxes left on front doorsteps are prime targets for thieves, Edmonton police say. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

For shoppers who want to protect their precious parcels, there's no place like home for the holidays, Edmonton police say.

With Christmas fast approaching, police are warning that thieves have been spotted following delivery trucks through the streets, waiting for parcels to be dropped off, then making off with them before residents arrive home.

Between Nov. 1 and Nov. 28, officers investigated 17 parcel thefts throughout the city.

In southwest Edmonton, witnesses told police they'd seen a man take a parcel off a neighbour's porch, then drive away in a silver Toyota Camry.

In another incident, witnesses reported they saw two men take a parcel from a nearby residence, before riding off on bicycles.

On Thursday, police released a photograph of a suspect they say stole a package on Nov. 19 from a residence near 106th Avenue and 105th Street.

Police have released this image of a male suspect they say stole a parcel on Nov. 19 from a residential address near 106th Avenue and 105th Street. (Edmonton Police Service)

"As the popularity of online shopping grows, so to does the number incidents reported to police related to parcel theft," Staff Sgt. Darryl Fox said Thursday in a news release.

"Some companies will even offer their customers gift-wrapping services, which makes it pretty obvious for thieves to identify."

People buying gifts online should use the delivery tracking app available at time of purchase, police said, and try to have someone at home to receive the gift.

"If you're unable to be at home on the day and time of delivery, customers may be able to contact the shipping company and ask them to deliver the item to your back porch or to another address," the news release said.

Anyone with information about the Nov. 19 suspect or who saw any of the other parcel thefts across the city is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers.