VIDEO: Package thief poses as pizza delivery man

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WTHR Staff – INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - A package thief suspect is bringing a new twist to the crime.

A man posing as a pizza delivery driver - complete with an insulated container - was caught on camera taking a package from the front porch of a Meridian-Kessler home.

The homeowner tells us she was out shopping when she got the notification that her package had been delivered. She'd ordered a pair of slippers for her son's girlfriend. Then she got a notification from her home security system about activity at her front door.

The "pizza delivery guy" is seen on home surveillance ringing the doorbell and looking around. When no one answers, he picks up a small package containing the slippers and tucks it under the pizza bag. On the video, you can see he even turns the big pizza delivery thermal bag sideways, apparently so someone across the street can't see that he's pilfered a package. He then gets back into a black SUV to drive away.

"My husband picks up his phone and said, 'I think our package was just stolen'," said Ruthann, the homeowner.

"Well, it's just so gutsy," she continued. "I mean, I think how nervy of people to actually come with a prop - the pizza box! Even if we had been home and come to the door he could go, 'Oh, I guess I got a wrong address'."

Ruthann said other neighbors have seen the same man driving through the area. They say he appears confident, so they've never questioned his presence there. But now, of course, they'll be on the lookout.

"It's very disconcerting," says Bob, another Meridian Kessler neighbor. You wish that kind of thing didn't happen in our neighborhood. So definitely I'll keep an eye out."

Bob had a couple of packages waiting for him on his porch Monday. His porch is partly enclosed by a low wall.

"It's camouflaged a little bit because you don't see it as easily. But it's still a concern," Bob says.

Experts recommend having a friend watch for your packages and getting them off the porch right away. You can also ask the delivery company for a drop-off text or email. Tell them to leave packages in an out of the way spot. Ruthann actually did that, but it was left on the front porch anyway.

Bob says he picks up valuable packages from shipping company office, "and I've even put returns in the Amazon locker over here at the library."

Since this video hit social media, a neighbor says "he saw the vehicle. Someone with pizza boxes. They approach the door looked around but didn't take anything." They took photos of the SUV's temporary plates and they've been sent to police.

Ruthann says the stolen box contained women's slippers. When she tried to reorder the shoe company, Zappos, told her they were out of the size she needed. Since she was a theft victim, they refunded her money. One good thing to come out of this, she said.