Newly released surveillance video captured the latest in a string of mail thefts around the city, this time an unidentified man is caught on camera stealing from a Brownstown near DePaul’s campus.
In less than a minute, the hooded perpetrator can be seen rummaging through the residents’ packages, using a knife to slash open and empty the contents of one box into a bag before swiftly grabbing another package and rushing out the door.
“The thing that freaked me out the most was me or my roommate could’ve walked in on it,” Homeowner Daphne Ortiz told NBC5. “Anyone would have right away [asked], ‘Oh my gosh, what are you doing?’ and the guy has a knife on him.”
The incident comes after Chicago police made five arrests last week in correlation to a series of reported package thefts.
In the month of December alone the United States Postal Service delivers more than 15 billion letters, cards and packages.
Police advise residents to take extra precautions during the holiday season to prevent being a target of theft. Recommendations include requiring a signature for deliveries, scheduling package arrivals during hours someone will be home or having orders shipped to work addresses.
Under Illinois law, mail theft is a Class 3 felony carrying a possible jail sentence of 2 to 7 years.