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Surveillance video catches suspected package thief in the act

Surveillance video captures package...

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A Santa Barbara family is out of some Christmas gifts after a suspected thief stole packages from their front porch. 

The family, who didn't want to be identified, lives in a home on the 2100 block of State Street. 

They've been out of town due to the Thomas fire and are on vacation. 

On Wednesday, they checked their surveillance camera and watched the theft, "almost happening in real time."

The video shows a woman wearing ripped jeans and a pink sweatshirt grab a large package and place it into a waiting silver vehicle in broad daylight. 

Santa Barbara police have seen the video and are on the lookout for the woman. 

Police are on heightened patrols since the Thomas fire forced mass evacuations. At times, more than 150 officers from Santa Barbara and nearby cities, saturated evacuation and surrounding areas. 

"Even though the evacuation areas have been lifted, we still have an extraordinary amount of officers insuring the safety of the community," said public information officer Anthony Wagner. 

Wagner said surveillance video is a useful tool to help them nab a suspect. 

"If in fact your picture is on one of these tapes, there is a high likelihood that one of your friends, family, or someone else knows who you are and there's a good chance they are going to turn you in," he said. 

The family said the thief got away with several Christmas gifts for their nine-year-old daughter and possibly a number of gift cards. 

They said the theft pales in comparison to all of the heartbreak felt in the community from the recent devastating fire. 

But, they hope releasing the surveillance video will help prevent the thief from stealing from another family. 

If you recognize the woman in the video, you are urged to call police. 





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