Two Greenbelt residents were charged with stealing packages from doorsteps, and police are working to return the goods to residents.
Anisha Wilson and Gary Jenkins, both 21 and of the 9100 block of Springhill Lane, are facing multiple charges of theft after a search of their Greenbelt apartment and two vehicles in their possession found about 100 stolen packages, said Bowie Police Chief John Nesky.
The recovered items vary from electronics to shoes, Nesky said.
Neither Wilson nor Jenkins could be located and attorney information wasn’t listed in court records as of Monday.
Since December, Bowie police had been receiving a spike in reports of packages being stolen from doorsteps, police said. In response, the city police department’s Criminal Investigation Division and Directed Response Team canvassed Bowie neighborhoods looking for someone stealing packages, Nesky said.
“We’ve made previous arrests but not to this scale,” said Nesky referring to the operation in which investigators have recovered about 100 items. “We’re hoping we’ve closed the loop, at least on these cases.”
On Jan. 30, police received a report of a green vehicle being involved in such a theft, Nesky said. On Feb. 6, police spotted a green 1995 Toyota Camry and when the vehicle was pulled over, police found Wilson and Jenkins as well as a variety of packages in the vehicle, Nesky said. Bowie police, in cooperation with Prince George’s County and Greenbelt police, performed a search of the pair’s Greenbelt apartment and of a silver 1999 Mitsubishi Galant there and found a total of 100 items believed to be stolen, Nesky said.
“They were probably splitting their time [between using both vehicles] since items were in both vehicles,” he said.
Wilson faces an initial court hearing March 26 followed by Jenkins on March 27, according to court records.
About 14 victims in and outside of Bowie have been identified, Nesky said. Nesky wouldn’t go into the specifics of what items were found as they work to identify the owners, he said.
These type of thefts are becoming more common as shopping trends change, Nesky said.
“The more we’re shifting from shopping malls to Internet shopping, that increases the number of items on steps and the opportunities for crimes,” Nesky said.
Residents should be mindful of where they are shipping items, the chief said.
“The best way is have it sent to someplace you know you’ll be: a business, a work place, somewhere you know someone will be,” Nesky said. “Beyond that, it’s keeping an eye on your neighborhood.”
Anyone who believes they may have had a parcel stolen should contact the Bowie Police Department at 301-352-1200.