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Howard police warn residents about holiday package thieves

Howard County police are warning residents to keep close watch on gifts delivered by mail, after a surveillance camera in Ellicott City captured footage of a woman apparently taking a recently delivered parcel from a porch last Friday.

The video was captured by a security system on the 8200 block of Weston Drive, police said. A delivery company dropped off a package at 9:50 a.m., according to a news release, and a blue sedan followed at 11:20 a.m. A woman got out of the vehicle, took the package, placed it in the vehicle's trunk and drove away.

Police described the woman on the tape as white, weighing about 180 pounds. She had dark hair in a ponytail and was observed wearing a dark, hooded sweatshirt with a white emblem on the chest, with jeans and gray shoes.

The release advises people to review their holiday purchases to see if any packages are missing, and to make sure those they have sent to relatives or friends have arrived. Before reporting a parcel stolen, police asked residents to check alternate entrances, see if neighbors got the package by mistake, and call the delivery company to see if it was in fact dropped off.

Residents should keep track of their shipments, and have them delivered to work or left in discreet locations if nobody will be home when they arrive, police said. Helpful neighbors can also keep track of a parcel.

Anyone with information is advised to call 410-313-STOP (7867).

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