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Astoria Package Thief Arrested


Sept. 23, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge

Police have arrested a local man who was caught on video swiping packages from a neighbor’s stoop.

Last week, Cecilia Leon, who lives on 24th Street in the Ditmars area, posted a video on Facebook of a man casually grabbing packages from her front steps while talking on the phone. The video was taken with a home security camera.

According to police, the man had been arrested as recently as Sept. 14 for stealing packages from a UPS truck.

“A week later, he’s out, and he’s stealing packages off people’s front steps,” Captain Peter Fortune, Commanding Officer of the 114 Precinct, said.

Leon’s video led directly to the man’s next arrest on Monday, when he was apprehended wearing the “exact same outfit” captured in the surveillance footage, Fortune said.

“I was so amazed,” Leon said of the arrest. “I thought I was being overly optimistic. I was hoping they would catch him, but when they told me they actually caught him wearing the same clothes he was wearing in the video, I just said, ‘oh man. Good job.’”

The man has allegedly stolen over $1,000 worth of packages, with at least one UPS truck and two stoops known to have been hit, officers with the 114 Precinct said.

According to Captain Fortune, the man is currently in custody.

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