Ballard package grabber gets a gotcha, captured on camera

You can’t always get what you want, but sometimes you get moldy hummus


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After numerous things were stolen off his porch one Ballard man is fighting crime in his own special way.

Matt Coggan of Ballard used a hidden camera to get evidence of a young man stealing a package but the thief didn't get away with much, besides moldy hummus.

“Today I caught a person stealing a lovely packaged delicacy,” said Coggan sarcastically. “Being a guy who lives alone I have plenty of stuff in my fridge and found the most putrid and nasty dish of hummus from weeks ago. It had enough weight to it for someone to think there was something in the box.”

The thefts have been going on for months, and Coggan said that he has had everything from bikes stolen, to cars broken into and items stolen from inside his neighbors’ windows. The final theft that prompted action was over the holidays. He was watching a Seahawks game at his house and waiting for his father’s present to be delivered. He checked the status of the package, and it said that it had already been dropped off, but there was nothing there.
It had been stolen.

“I was inside 10 feet away, so when that happened I said I’ve had it and decided to do something.”

Coggan bought a camera capable of night vision, automatic motion tracking and remote viewing ability. He mounted it above his porch, and everyday he left a package full of moldy hummus wrapped in Amazon shipping paper. But there was something else in there too: a note that told the thief he was on camera and alluded to Coggan following him.

The day of the theft Coggan was checking his phone constantly after he left home. That afternoon he finally decided to stop checking and left headed to his house. When he got home the package was gone. 20 minutes later he checked the footage and saw that at 1:03 p.m. a skinny young man with dark hair and dark clothes walked by, stopped, doubled back, crept into the yard, grabbed the package and fled.

“He does the worst job of trying to be inconspicuous I’ve ever seen.”

Now Coggan wants to shame the thief on Facebook and online in hopes of teaching him and other package grabbers a lesson. He also plans to find things fouler than moldy hummus to put in the packages.

“Now that I’ve had this joyous success maybe I will try something worse so that when they open the box they immediately know there’s something awful in there.”

Package theft has been on the rise, according to ABC News, since more and more shopping is moving online.
A variety of measures are now in place to remedy the situation including Amazon Lockers found in various central locations in larger communities, scheduled delivery times and more.

According to The Zebra, here are a few helpful ways to prevent theft:

  • Pick up your packages
  • Leave instructions for the delivery person
  • Deliver items to your place of work
  • Track your deliveries and be ready to grab it when it’s dropped off

Follow the Ballard News-Tribune for more theft videos.

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