Neighbor’s awareness helps capture suspected package thief

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WYANDOTTE COUNTY, Kan. -- It's normally a crime you hear about during the holidays, but several neighborhoods in western Wyandotte County have been victimized for weeks. But that could come to an end thanks to an alert neighbor Thursday afternoon.

Someone saw a man taking a package off a porch and called police. Minutes later, he was arrested near 94th and Parallel and had several packages in his possession.

Susan Byrd owns Byrd's Dance and Gymnastics studio. She averages about six-to-eight deliveries a week. Each delivery she gets means something.

"They are important to me and the kids waiting for their dance costumes or their dance shoes or custom-made gymnastics leotards," explained Byrd

But recently, Byrd lost several packages, all in one week. It frustrated and concerned her, but she soon realized she wasnt alone.

"According to my neighborhood blog, there's about 20 residents in my subdivision that have had packages taken, since come to find out other neighborhoods in this community have been victimized by the thieves," she said.

After talking with other victims, Byrd is surprised by the thefts.

"I don't know they are really getting anything of value, because it seems like what people get delivered to their homes are personal items, or you know, clothes, makeup kids' toys. I don't know that people are getting real valuable things from their porch," she said.

Even though there's been an arrest, police say not to let your guard down. They are still very early in their investigation. Byrd says she's changed all her deliveries so that they can only be accepted if someone signs for it. She says it's more work for the drivers and her if no one is home, but it's worth it not to lose anything else.

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