Suspected Lakeland thief arrested for stealing Christmas packages

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A suspected porch pirate off the streets! Shelby County sheriff's deputies have nabbed a man they say stole a Lakeland family's Christmas packages.

Investigators say Deandre Williams, 18, is the culprit.

Surveillance video of the crime is a bit eerie.

The suspect sees the packages from the road, does a brisk walk to the house, takes a quick peek inside, then grabs the goods from a home off Maple Walk Drive and takes off.

"My wife just said to me we're missing some packages. We've had a lot of things delivered and we weren't sure about it," victim Casey Condo said.

Sure enough, Condo checked the surveillance and watched the burglary unfold on his porch.

He told the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, and detectives then used the video to help track the suspect.

Thursday afternoon they spotted the same Toyota seen in the video in the Wendy's parking lot off Highway 64 and Canada Road. Williams was in the car and was arrested for the crime.

Earle Farrell with the Sheriff`s Office commended the perceptive deputies.

"You see 'em out in traffic wondering where that guy is going, they're constantly tracking down leads, constantly have their eyes out looking for license plates."

Shelby County Sheriff's Office said this burglary was far from Williams' first; Farrell said Williams is accused of hitting multiple homes in the same neighborhood.

Farrell said stealing packages isn't just here in the Mid-South; every year millions across the country fall victim. Now with the last-minute holiday packages arriving, Condo is thankful Williams is off the streets.

"To me he's not out there stealing other Christmas presents from kids."

More good news — Condo was able to get his stolen items back. It turns out they were presents for someone else.

Law enforcement has several tips to avoid package theft. They suggest arranging for a trusted friend or loved one to pick them up for you if you know you won't be home. Or if your employer allows, have them delivered to work.

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