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Cops nab alleged package thieves

Police arrested at least two sets of alleged package thieves accused of stealing packages and mail arriving on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

Livermore police arrested two people from San Francisco on Christmas Eve with a car full of stolen packages from a number of East Bay towns. Police started receiving calls about two suspects stealing packages from porches in the Lexington and Trinity Hills area around 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

Officers were unable to locate the suspects at the time, but later in the day a resident called to report two subjects seen hiding in the bushes on Marina Road. Officers found a male and female in the area and recognized one of them from video surveillance of one of the package thefts, police said. The two were initially arrested on suspicion of prowling.

But when police found their vehicle parked nearby, it was full of stolen mail and packages from Orinda, Lafayette, Pleasanton and Livermore. Police arrested and booked Christina Rodriguez, 27, and Jose Ruiz, 32, both of whom claimed to be transients out of San Francisco.

Two Petaluma men were arrested Christmas in connection with the theft of several Christmas packages, according to police.

Police were first alerted to the thefts this morning when a resident walking his dog saw a suspicious vehicle parked in his neighbor’s driveway. When the resident saw a man get out of the car and start taking packages off the porch, he took down the license plate and called police.

Police located the vehicle later that day at the home of the registered owner. When officers approached two men in the driveway, one of them fled. Officers detained Gregory Johnson, 44, in the driveway and the other man, William Kirk Andrus, 36, after he was found hiding in a shed in the back yard, police said.

A search of the house located items associated with the package theft this morning including a pink motorized child’s car, as well as items associated with other thefts that occurred yesterday. Johnson and Andrus were arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest.

Items associated with the thefts were returned to their owners. Some items found in Johnson’s home, including individually packaged and priced Christmas ornaments and decorations, were taken by police for safekeeping while they look for additional victims. Anyone with information on other thefts in the area should contact Petaluma police (707) 778-4372.

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