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Police warn shoppers after 5 arrests for package thefts

Elizabeth Quilez. Photo from Chicago Police.

Travis W. Slaughtaire. Photo from Chicago Police.

Chicago Police are sharing tips with shoppers to keep their holiday purchases safe after five people were arrested for stealing packages from front porches in separate incidents Monday.

The first theft happened about 10:10 a.m. in the 1700 block of West Diversey on the North Side.

Travis W. Slaughtaire, 21; and Dwayne A. Bullock, 20, ran off with two packages from a person’s porch, but were arrested by responding officers, according to a statement from Chicago Police.

Witnesses positively identified them and both packages were returned to their rightful owner, police said. Slaughtaire, of the 4500 block of North Sheridan, was charged with felony theft, while Bullock, of the 200 block of E. 90th St., was charged with misdemeanor theft.

Another theft was reported later that afternoon in the Northwest Side Dunning neighborhood. About 2:45 p.m., a woman stole packages from two porches in the 6200 and 6300 blocks of West Patterson, police claim.

Elizabeth Quilez, 49, of the nearby 6200 block of West Byron, was arrested by responding officers and charged with two counts of felony theft, police said. The packages were also returned.

A third theft was reported about 3:30 p.m. in the 1600 block of North Wood, in the Wicker Park neighborhood, police said. Charges are pending against a 50-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman accused of stealing a package from the front area of a home there.

Police say none of the thefts or suspects are connected.

Online shoppers can take a few steps to avoid having their packages stolen during holiday season, according to police.

Authorities recommend requiring a signature upon receipt, and scheduling deliveries for days you or someone you trust will be home. Some thieves follow courier trucks and immediately steal packages after they are dropped off, so don’t let packages sit around, police say.

Shoppers can also have packages delivered to their work address, to a courier pickup station, or to a local retail location for in-store pickup, police said.

Residents can deter thieves by never buzzing anyone into their building or letting anyone follow them inside without knowing who they are, police said. If you don’t know whether a person is a fellow resident, say you don’t have your keys and let them open the door, police recommend.

Anyone who sees suspicious activity should call 911 with a description of people or vehicles involved in similar thefts, police said.