Hopewell neighbors find mail opened, gifts stolen

Published: Dec. 24, 2014 at 1:51 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 3, 2015 at 1:51 AM EST
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HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) - Just days before Christmas, some folks are apparently so desperate for gifts, they're taking drastic measures to get them.

A Hopewell man captured what appears to be two crooks walking with tons of mail neighbors say was stolen from their mailboxes. It's a crime authorities in many places are dealing with this holiday season.

It's a scenario no one ever sees coming. Criminals so brave they come right onto your property to take what's yours. In one case Tuesday, it was all caught on camera.

It's not the "Happy Holiday" Karen Holloway was expecting.

"This was a DVD my daughter ordered off Amazon for me. For Christmas. It's gone. They tore it open," she said.

The envelope buried with other mail left in the street.

"A Christmas card that was sent to me. They tore it open. I guess they thought money was in it," she explained.

One of her neighbors found his mail tampered with too. He had a surveillance camera that captured images just after 4:00 Tuesday morning. It shows two people in hoodies with pockets full scouring through letters.

Neighbors say the bold thieves even gathered at the steps of a nearby church sorting through the mail that they stole from the block.

"I was mad," said Leslie Doss.

She and a friend saw the aftermath.

"Just seen paper strewn all over the church and stuff. It was out there early this morning about 9 or 10 o'clock," said William Allen.

It comes days after Hopewell investigators released an image of a person of interest and the car he may have been in - after other neighbors complained someone stole a recently delivered Christmas package right from their front porch.

No word if there's any connection to this latest case that was also caught on camera.

"It's just really frustrating right here at Christmas time…I just hope they find them," Holloway added.

Authorities are reminding mail tampering is a federal offense. The U.S. Post Office is even spreading this warning - the crime will get you "a new home in jail" with "hard time" to serve.

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