By Tim McNicholas

CHICAGO (CBS) – A man has been making his way around the South Side, wanted in connection with stealing packages and mail on at least four different blocks, U.S. Postal Inspection Service officials say.

As CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas reports, residents in Grand Crossing are furious.

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Detectives have information that shows the thief may have hit these locations: 83rd Street and Michigan Avenue; 81st Street and Woodlawn Avenue; 73rd Street and Ingleside Avenue; and 72nd Street and Blackstone Avenue. There is a $1,000 reward. Some of the packages were taken directly from a mail truck.

“I refuse to feel unsafe in my community,” said Shannon McDougal, whose neighbors captured the suspect on their doorbell camera.

“People really work hard to do the things that they do. Everybody has the capability of working hard, so why steal something from somebody else?”

McDougal says the man didn’t swipe anything from her. However, she has been hit by porch pirates in the past, and she now asks mail carriers and delivery drivers to leave her packages in the back.

“I explain to them, do not leave anything on my front door. It’s like a welcome mat for thieves.”

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It’s happening all over Chicago. Earlier this month in Humboldt Park, a different thief opened a gate and stole three packages from the Shaws—gifts from family members.

Researcher Jose Holguin-Veras says at least 12,000 packages are stolen or disappear without explanation every day in Chicago.

Holguin-Veras, a logistics expert and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, says researchers can only estimate numbers because may people don’t report stolen packages.

“We did not report it to the police department,” said Ryan Shaw, referring to the Humbold Park theft. “The reality is there are a lot more serious problems happening in the city and the reality is there’s not enough time.”

But back in the Grand Crossing neighborhood, investigators are more than aware of this serial mail swiper, and residents hope he will get to meet those investigators.

 

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Tim McNicholas