Wicker Park residents fight back against package thieves

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Residents in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood are uniting in an effort to stop package thefts after catching alleged thieves in the act.

Residents of one block captured surveillance video of a thief stealing packages off their porch Wednesday morning. Just when the thief though the coast was clear, a woman keeping watch confronted him.

"Is that your package?" the woman said. "Can I see it?

The thief tried to keep walking as she said, "Excuse me, that's not your package. You just took it off the front porch."

"We gave chase to him and he actually handed over the package and I think we were sort of stunned we just let him walk off," said Susan Oros. "I think we were all shocked. We didn't think to call the police or anything."

That Wicker Park block has been hit numerous times over the last couple of weeks by package thieves, including a few incidents on Tuesday.

"I left the house for just a few minutes to put something in my garage and in those four or five minutes my package was delivered and stolen off my front porch," said Oros.

After taking Oros' package, the thief went right next door, grabbing a box of diapers. That time, a mother with her 4-year-old daughter and a construction worker ran after him, but he drove off in a U-Haul pick-up truck.

"What scared me the most is the highly organized way this is happening. It is obviously a plan. There is a look out person. There is a person in a vehicle following trucks," said Tony Lampariello.

"It really kind of stinks that people feel like they have the right to take things we have worked for," said Oros.

It appears different people are involved in the thefts.

"Eventually someone is going to get caught. It's not going to last on our street," said Lampariello.

In the meantime, those who live on that street are taking packages from their neighbors before thieves can get their hands on them.
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