In a north Phoenix neighborhood that's been a big target for thieves, a law school graduate studying for the bar exam became the latest victim when a package thief took off with hundreds of dollars worth of law review books she had purchased to prepare for the big test.
Dehlia Lockhart said she had worked a lot of overtime hours just so she could afford to buy those books, but about an hour after they were delivered to her doorstep, they were gone. The only thing left behind: surveillance footage of a woman taking off with the boxes.
Surveillance video showed the suspect's vehicle driving up and down the street a few times, right after the mailman dropped off the goods. The victim believed the woman had followed the mail truck to see where he was dropping off packages.
At right around 3 p.m., the video showed a well-dressed woman in high heels casually walking up to the doorstep. You would think she lived there, until you see her stoop down, pick up the two packages and take off running.
Lockhart and her roommate Bobbi Fisher said they were stunned when the saw the video of this daring crime in action.
"She acted in broad daylight, not caring if anyone is watching, not caring if the camera is watching," said Lockhart.
"It's not okay.. stealing is not okay.. theft is theft," added Fisher.
She said she had installed the security camera after someone broke into her son's car. Then, the thief took off with his debit card and ID. An hour later, they were getting calls from Verizon and Cricket officials from across the country, checking to verify purchases someone had made on the card.
Lockhart said several homes, garages, and cars had been broken in their neighborhood off 5th Street, near Northern and 7th Street. She was extremely emotional about the theft, saying those books meant a lot to her.
"Probably because the stress of law school right now. I'm paying $180,000 for law school, student debt, then hundreds for these books. I feel completely violated in some form, raped if you will for lack of a better word," said Lockhart.
She had a message for the suspect.
"I can replace the books, but God watches everything. You were wrong to do what you did. Give me my books back. Give them back. You don't need them," said Lockhart.
Mail theft is a federal crime, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
If you are a victim of mail theft, make sure to contact both your local law enforcement authorities and the U.S Postal Inspectors office.
You can report theft to USPS by clicking here.