KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City man fighting skin cancer said a thief stole his chemotherapy medicine right off his front porch.
It happened Thursday afternoon in Armour Hills near Brookside in Kansas City, Mo.
The theft – which Kevin Smith calls invasive to his home and health – was caught on a motion-censored security camera connected to his smartphone.
The camera started rolling as soon as this thief turned his back, and shows him stealing a package off Smith’s porch, then darting across the street into a getaway car.
“Broad daylight!” Smith said. “Neighbors sitting outside! The car pulls up, stops, guy gets out, goes to two houses, takes packages, gets back in the car and drives away like nothing’s going on -nothing!”
But more upsetting was what was inside Smith’s package: vital medicine he needs to fight his 6-year battle with basal cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer.
“It’s hard to place a value on cancer cells growing in your body,” he said. “Especially when 45 days prior to this, the doctor has said you have 16 new beginnings to grow.”
Over the years, Smith has had 30 surgeries. So for the past month, he's been trying his luck on a new oral medication called Erivedge. Thursday’s delivery contained his new dosage.
“That was like a punch in the heart, in the gut,” he said of the theft. “It took my breath to know that I’m fighting it, but someone’s fighting me fighting it. And why? Really? Come on!”
He continued, “It hurts. It`s personal space. You`re on my porch. You are taking my package, not to mention my medication that I need. It`s invasive for me.”
Smith’s neighbor, Nicole Boshard, was watching from her window when she noticed the thief’s suspicious behavior.
“I kind of noticed a van had pulled up and parked in front of my house,” she said, “and it was kind of strange, but I thought maybe they were checking their GPS for a house, like looking for somebody.”
She quickly realized that was not the case, when she noticed the man was already carrying a stolen Amazon package before he darted to Smith’s porch. She immediately called police.
“It was just kind of sad that that was happening to my neighbors,” she said, “and I was upset, kind of unsettled about the whole thing.”
Smith and Boshard said it’s just the latest in a string of package thefts plaguing their Armour Hills neighborhood.
“The police say that they drive around the neighborhoods,” Smith said, “following Fedex and UPS trucks and give it about a 10-15 minute span [before they steal the packages].”
Smith is now fighting back with tighter video surveillance, while refusing to let the thief get in the way of his personal fight against cancer.
“Granted, it’s not the worst kind of cancer by any means,” he said, “I don’t want anyone to think that. But basal cell can grow into things that can be deadly if you let them go and that`s what I’m trying to not happen.”
Thankfully, Smith's insurance company replaced his stolen medication.
He’s now asking for your help in catching the man in the video. He’s described as a thin white man who was wearing blue jeans, a light blue shirt and took off in a dark blue van.
If you know who he is, call Crime Stoppers at (816) 474-TIPS.