Video shows online-ordered Christmas presents stolen from family's front step

A Regina family is issuing a word of caution to others who might consider ordering gifts online during the holiday season. Their presents were stolen from their front step just two hours after they were delivered.

Regina woman issuing a word of caution to others ordering gifts online

Doorbell camera shows man stealing Christmas packages

4 years ago
Online-ordered Christmas presents were stolen from a family's front step in Regina. 0:30

A character lurking around houses and stealing presents is a familiar plot line from Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

It's also reality for one family who lives in the northwest corner of Regina. 

Candace Schwindt calls herself a Cindy Lou Who sympathizer. Her packages were filched from her front step on Monday less than two hours after they were dropped off by a United Parcel Service (UPS) courier.

"I felt very violated because someone was trespassing on our property and taking something, even though it wasn't officially mine yet," Schwindt said.

The gifts were for her niece, nephew and two sons. Initially, Schwindt thought her husband had moved the parcels from Old Navy, Costco and online retailer

She asked him where they were and they realized neither of them knew, so they reviewed the footage.

The Schwindt family has a doorbell camera that caught it all on tape.

"It was a man that we did not know who first took the top two parcels and put them in his car and then went back and grabbed the third parcel."

Schwindt said she's speaking out because she wants people to know this could happen to them if they're ordering online. 

"I just didn't want other families to have to go through this in the Christmas season," she said.

"Maybe down the line shipping policies will change and parcels just won't be left out."
A fresh sign has been posted on Candace Schwindt's mail box after her Christmas gifts were snatched. She isn't confident she would have been able to get new gifts sent to her family without the video evidence gathered by the smart technology in the doorbell. (Kendall Latimer/CBC)

Schwindt was initially in contact with UPS before she contacted the companies. 

All three are going to send her new packages because they were covered by insurance, she said.

Furthermore, Schwindt has a renewed appreciation for her doorbell.

"We're pretty glad that we have the technology in our house to be able to definitely say this is what happened," she said.

"I don't know that the shippers would have been as open to sending us parcels a second time if we had not had video evidence."

"UPS drivers are trained to leave packages out of sight," said Nirali Raval, spokesperson for UPS Canada, in an emailed statement. 

"If an area is deemed high risk for theft, drivers will be notified to not release packages unless signatures are obtained." 

The spokesperson also said that if a customer would like a signature at the time of the delivery they are responsible for telling the "supplier that you want your package shipped using a UPS Signature Required service."

Candace Schwindt says her family will 'gladly go to the post office or to the shipping depot to pick them up ourselves rather than have this headache again.' (CBC)

"Signature Required service must be selected by the shipper when they prepare your shipment."

Schwindt has filed a report with the Regina police. A spokesperson for the Regina Police Service says they are unaware of any other similar thefts this holiday season. However, if a similar crime is reported it would be classified as Theft under $5,000 and would not be placed in its own category.