Lansing police arrest package thieves during undercover operation

Posted at 8:22 PM, Dec 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-22 23:14:58-05

LANSING, Kan. — In Lansing and across the country the rush is on for those holiday packages to get to their destination. But once they make it there, they can quickly become a potential target for thieves. 

"With everything online, you can find cheap deals online. So yeah, it’s a crime of opportunity,” Kris Ebert, a Lansing resident said.

Ebert, a former delivery driver said it happens more often than you think.

“People leave their stuff out on the front. It’s easy to just run by and grab it. I’ve seen it happen before as a FedEx driver,” Ebert said. 

Lansing Police Chief Steve Wayman has watched videos of men and women across the Kansas City metro stealing packages. 

The videos inspired him to come up with “Operation Krampus”.

Over the course of three days this week they placed a decoy package on the front doorstep of a house on Holiday drive. 

Their first and only hit came within the first hour of the operation.

“He [the officer] saw a vehicle go real slow. Then he saw an individual run up to the front porch, grab the box and run back to the vehicle,” Chief Wayman said. 

An officer moved in and arrested a woman from Lansing and her 17-year-old daughter. Both face city charges for the crime. 

“It saved somebody from possibly losing — some kids losing some Christmas presents right here, right before Christmas,” Chief Wayman said.

Chief Wayman now plans to do similar operations year-round. 

So what are some steps you can take to avoid being a victim?

“If you trust your driver you can have them deliver it to your backyard, you can have it delivered to the side of the house. Another thing I’ve actually had done before is if you take an empty trash can, tell them to deliver it to your trash can. Nobody is going to go through your trash can,” Ebert said.