Investigators arrested a former UPS worker and two of his friends for stealing packages from front porches.
“As people begin to get more packages there’s probably going to be more opportunity for people to take what’s not theirs,” explains Brent Eaton, Hancock County prosecutor.
19-year-old Jacob Bledsoe, 18-year-old Cameron Gaines and 18-year-old Evan France are all charged with theft. According to court papers, Bledsoe admitted to having inside knowledge of which homes would have packages. Bledsoe told detectives he took pictures of the addresses on two packages as he was loading them onto the UPS truck.
“He emailed or sent text messages with the photographs of the addresses to his friends, they met up later and went out to intercept the packages from the porches themselves,” explains Eaton.
The nearly 20 thefts happened in New Palestine and on the south side of Indianapolis.
“Somewhat surprised but also considering the new e-commerce culture we have, I guess that’s going to happen,” explains George Searfoss, a New Palestine neighbor.
Detectives found people’s gifts stashed in the car the suspects were driving. “Some jelly, jam, candy, a few bottles of wine, shoes, the kinds of things people are going to get for Christmas,” explains Eaton.
Last week, a neighbor called police reporting he saw the three young men stealing packages and tossing the boxes out of their car. That concerned neighbor is what stopped the thieves’ spree.
“If you see suspicious activity, be in this type of activity or something else we always want to encourage people to contact law enforcement,” explains Eaton.
When detectives asked Gaines what they were doing he said, ‘You kinda know…we were taking packages. If we saw packages, they were ours.’
UPS released this statement, “Last week, UPS Security was notified by the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department of the arrest of a seasonal preloader in our Indy hub operation related to package theft in Greenfield. The worker was terminated immediately.”
All three suspects will be in court next month.