Package Theft Spree Tracked Through Rented Trailer, Cops Say

Suspected thief's rented U-Haul trailer led investigators to her, police say.

ByRACHEL HAWATMEH
December 4, 2014, 2:25 PM

LOS ANGELES — -- A woman who allegedly drove a U-Haul truck around a San Diego neighborhood stealing mailed packages from peoples' doorsteps was arrested after surveillance cameras identified the rented truck, police said today.

Martha Lampley, 37, began cruising the East County neighborhoods starting on Nov. 21, swiping packages until she was arrested on Nov. 29, the San Diego County Sheriff’s department told ABC News.

PHOTO: A victim is seen picking up his stolen package from a San Diego County Sheriff from the storage unit.
A victim is seen picking up his stolen package from a San Diego County Sheriff from the storage unit.
San Diego County Sheriff's Office

Lampley was tracked down when one of her alleged victims gave police a home surveillance video of a theft and footage included a U-Haul trailer in the background. Police were able to identify the rented vehicle and trace it back to Lampley, police said.

“One of the deputies did a great job using the video to identify the suspect,” said Lt. Chris May. “She was using a rented U-haul truck to drive through the neighborhoods to commit the thefts.”

PHOTO: A stolen item is seen in this photo provided by the San Diego County Sheriff's Office
A stolen item is seen in this photo provided by the San Diego County Sheriff's Office
San Diego County Sheriff's Office

The truck ID led officers to Lampley's storage unit where some of the stolen packages were found, authorities said.

“Yesterday we returned packages to several of the victims. Many of the packages were still unopened with the delivery and packaging labels with the victim’s information,” said May.

The spokesman said similar thefts involving a U-Haul trailer were reported elsewhere in Southern California.

PHOTO: A stolen item is seen in this photo provided by the San Diego County Sheriff's Office.
A stolen item is seen in this photo provided by the San Diego County Sheriff's Office.
San Diego County Sheriff's Office

“There are a lot of offenders released in the community that will re-offend, we want to do our best to make it hard on them, to make it difficult for them,” said May.

“With the Sheriff’s Holiday Watch program we’re trying to increase the public awareness on how to become less of a victim, less of an attractive victim to the criminals.”

Lampley is booked at Las Colinas Jail on burglary charges and violating her parole. She was on parole for possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia, authorities said.

Lampley has not yet appeared in court or entered a plea.

PHOTO: Stolen items in the storage unit are seen in this photo provided by the San Diego County Sheriff's Office.
Stolen items in the storage unit are seen in this photo provided by the San Diego County Sheriff's Office.
San Diego County Sheriff's Office

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