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Thieves taking advantage of increased online shopping during pandemic

Posted at 5:53 PM, Dec 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-24 18:50:36-05

WYANDOTTE (WXYZ)  — The arrest of a Texas woman in Wyandotte this week has police urging residents to take precautions when it comes to getting their mail and packages they're expecting to be delivered.

Communities all over the country are seeing an increase in residential thefts and Wyandotte Deputy Police Chief Archie Hamilton calls it the "perfect storm."

"We're experiencing a pandemic.. more people are online shopping than ever before and the thieves know that," said Hamilton who added that thieves have always taken advantage of it getting dark earlier during winter months.

Hamilton is urging people to use the notifications that delivery services offer so that they know when a package has been delivered so it can be brought inside or a neighbor or relative get retrieve it.

Also, get the mail everyday to avoid the possible theft of items left overnight in mailboxes.

One day earlier this week, it was 1:55 AM when a Wyandotte man's doorbell camera notified him that there was activity on his front porch. His camera showed a suspicious woman.

"He quickly and calmly called the police," Hamilton said, which allowed officers time to get in the area without the suspect knowing police were on the way.

Officers said they discovered Michelle Lee Marquez, 34, prowling around.

Police also found open packages strewn about the area as Marquez went house to house, looking for items to allegedly steal out of letters and boxes.

Police said they found Marquez in possession of stolen items including credit cards. She's now been charged with seven counts of Mail Theft.

Detectives don't believe Marquez was working alone. So if you have any information on a possible accomplice, please call Wyandotte Police.