Security camera catches porch package poacher in the act

porch, package, theft, Kentwood
Surveillance video captured a man stealing a package off Paul VanRandwyk's front porch in Kentwood on Jan. 7, 2017.


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — Everyone hates when a package isn’t delivered when it’s expected. Even worse is when it’s delivered on time, but someone else decides to help themselves to it.

There are about 40 million packages delivered every day and the insurance industry reports about 23 million are stolen each year.

One Kentwood resident who lost his package hopes to fight back.

Paul VanRandwyk’s wife bought his 4-year-old granddaughter, Olivia, a coat online. It was delivered to their house on Forest Lake Drive SE on Tuesday morning. VanRandwyk has a $200 home security system on the doorbell, and it sent him an alert via smartphone when the package was delivered. A couple of hours later, he was alerted again that there was someone else at the door. When he opened up the app, he saw a man stealing the package.

“You kind of wonder if he thought, ‘Is that a camera?’” VanRandwyk said.

VanRandwyk said he is glad he has the security system. He has been sharing the video on social media and hopes someone will know the thief.

“It’d be nice if people recognized who it was and we’re able to help the police find the person,” VanRandwyk said. “Still, someone coming up on your porch and doing something like that is just a little creepy.”

Kentwood police have been alerted and are looking for the thief, but no one had been arrested as of late Wednesday afternoon. Anyone with information about the thief is asked to call police at 616.698.6580 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.

Kentwood and Kent County law enforcement say there is no evidence that the theft was anything other than an isolated crime of opportunity.