A Grinch is lurking in Foster City, stealing gifts delivered to the quiet Peninsula town's homes while residents are away.
At least two home owners waiting for packages full of gifts to be delivered have reported them missing just days before Christmas, according to Foster City Police Capt. John Froomin.
The packages were left on porches when residents did not answer the door for delivery, according to police.
“It’s really unfortunate people are preying on gifts during the holidays,” Froomin said.
An arrest has not been made, Froomin said, but Foster City Police have identified one suspect who they believe is responsible for the thefts.
The suspect is local, according to Froomin, but he is not aware if the person has any prior history of theft. Details of the case were not released because the investigation is active and ongoing.
Froomin warned the 29,000 residents of Foster City, and those in the rest of the Bay Area, to be aware of when packages are expected to be delivered. Though a small percentage of packages are stolen, it does happen during the holidays.
Froomin said there could be more because of the time of year and the delay in reporting.
“Unless people are constantly tracking the package, it could take several days before you realize it’s stolen,” he said.
To be sure you receive your gifts, Froomin suggested requiring a signature, picking up a package at the delivery company’s office, or arranging to have a neighbor receive it.
“It’s best not to leave it unattended,” he said.
Though the potential for theft increases over the holiday with gifts and giving, Froomin said it’s been years since Foster City has seen such a case. He said the last time gifts were reported stolen from a front porch was several years ago when a juvenile stole one package and threw its contents down the drain.
“It was family heirlooms,” he said. “Things that couldn’t even be replaced.”