MELROSE—Authorities are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who stole several parcels in the Melrose area on Saturday, April 11.

A mail delivery truck driver was being followed during his route by a man in a 1990’s Mercury Mountaineer without plates. When he pulled up to deliver a package, the man in the car stopped behind him and waited until the mail carrier left the scene to steal the packages. The suspect’s actions were caught on surveillance video:

The suspect is described as a male between the ages of 30 and 40 who could possibly be Caucasian or Hispanic. He stands roughly 5 feet and 10 inches tall and weighs 200 to 220 pounds.

According to officials, mail and package theft is higher now than it was before due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Since many delivery services changed their policies to lessen the spread of the virus, people are becoming more vulnerable to mail theft. Mail carriers are not opening gates, ringing doorbells or touching anything that may have been touched by another person.

Instead mail carriers are leaving packages along curbsides which makes packages easier to steal than before. LAPD is encouraging customers to pick up packages at local post offices or lockers to avoid becoming a victim of theft.

Mail drivers are asked to report any suspicious activity they might notice on their routes. They are also asked to modify their route if they feel they are being followed during their shift. “Detectives would like to remind employees of delivery companies to be aware of their surroundings,” police said. “If one thinks they’re being followed, divert your route to confirm a vehicle is indeed following the delivery truck, then notify the police.”

Anyone who has seen the suspect is asked to call LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tips can be submitted anonymously.