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Police search for thieves who pose as Amazon drivers, steal packages

Posted at 9:57 PM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-15 23:18:17-05

OLATHE, KS  — Olathe and Overland Park police are looking for individuals posing as Amazon drivers and stealing packages off of porches, instead of delivering them.

Multiple Ring video doorbells have captured a woman or man wearing a black and teal jacket with Amazon printed on the back approaching porches with packages in hand. The video shows the individuals dropping off the package and exchanging it with a package already on the porch.

According to police, there's one problem – the package the individuals leave behind is empty.

"They are kind of going to an extra step, an extra level to disguise what they are trying to do," said Sgt. Joel Yeldell with the Olathe Police Department.

Since Nov. 1, Olathe Police have investigated 12 cases involving package thefts. Six of those cases have involved people posing as Amazon delivery drivers. Overland Park police also are investigating two reported cases.

"I had just gotten a notification four minutes before of the two packages being delivered by a real Amazon package," said Tim Schulte. "The [second imposter] driver brought the Amazon package up and set it up on top of another package on my porch, picked up two other packages that were already there and left with those two packages."

When Schulte opened his package, it was empty.

The woman captured on his Ring camera walked away with two boxes filled with computer cords.

"I believe they are following around an Amazon delivery vehicle,” Schulte said. “Why it's the same area over and over? I don't know. I don't think it's very smart, but what they are doing in the first place isn't very smart.”

In a statement provided to 41 Action News, an Amazon spokesperson said the company is "investigating this incident and working with law enforcement to identify the suspects."

It is unclear if the jackets the suspects are wearing are real Amazon jackets.

Olathe police ask anyone who might recognize these individuals to call police. Officers also are asking anyone who becomes a victim to call police immediately and wait to post online until police have been contacted, in an effort to help catch the individuals.

"If there's a suspect on scene that has just committed an act in a neighborhood and we have a car description or a suspect description, call 911 and our stats say we will be there in under 5 minutes," Yeldell said.