ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — With the holidays right around the corner, police are warning Long Island residents about a thief who’s been stealing packages off front stoops.

He’s hit several homes in Rockville Centre, Malverne, Valley Stream and Elmont.

Police said the suspect steals packages from doorsteps and in their place leaves behind empty boxes or packages filled with old clothes, shoes or other trash for homeowners to find.

Jennifer of Rockville Centre said six holiday and birthday gifts were stolen after being delivered to her home.

“Coming home, having a lot of deliveries. My daughter’s birthday’s on Christmas,” she told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.

She said she caught the suspect on video.

“It was somebody walking up to house, dropping off an empty box, picking up a full box, and then walking away,” she told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall.

Mothers and grandmothers have been spreading the word via Facebook.

“Watching out to see who is in our neighborhood; if they’re collecting packages, or delivering packages, or if they look suspicious,” Veronica Chu said.

One took a photo of a white Chevy van with yellow New York plates and circular windows.

“A very informative page, and I have started to look and check frequently outside my door. If I have packages, I take them in quickly,” Wendy Rathjen said.

Police suggested signing to have packages delivered to back doors or safely to neighbors.

“It’s such a season of giving and generosity, this makes us all uncomfortable,” Bavaro said.


Village police have joined forces, urging residents to be on the lookout for the suspicious van.