San Diego County CA— A Grinch suspected in connection with the theft of holiday packages in the East County is in custody. The thefts started November 21st and were reported in Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and unincorporated areas of El Cajon.
Loss of the packages is estimated at $1,000. Home surveillance video from one of the victims led detectives to arrest 37‐year‐old Martha Lampley (DOB:04/13/1977), a parolee.
She is booked at Las Colinas Jail on burglary charges, as well as violating her parole for possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia. More charges are pending against Lampley. Detectives also
searched a storage unit in connection with the thefts and discovered stolen packages and merchandise.
Some of the packages clearly labeled with the owners’ names were returned to the victims yesterday.
If you’ve had a package stolen, call the Lemon Grove Sheriff’s Substation (619) 337‐2000. You must bring proof of ownership such as a receipt, tracking or shipping information, insurance claim, crime report or be able to give a distinctive description of the item.
It’s the busiest time of the year for holiday deliveries. Package thieves are on the prowl. Don’t let your guard down with these crime prevention tips:
- Choose a shipping option so you can sign for delivery. Request friends and relatives sending you a package to do the same and ask for a tracking number.
- Keep an eye on the package’s delivery status. Sign up for email or text alerts.
- Ship the package to another location such as your office if you won’t be home to receive it.
- Leave special instructions on where to deliver packages (behind bushes, side or back patio).
- Choose delivery pickup.
- Insure your packages
- Get to know your carriers.
- Be a good neighbor. Look out for each other.
- Report suspicious activity or vehicles to the Sheriff’s Department. Call (858) 565‐5200
- If your package is stolen, report the theft to the Sheriff’s Department and the business where your order came from.
Thefts involving United States Postal Service (USPS) mail or packages are handled by the United States Postal Inspection Service because it is a federal crime. Report mail theft by calling (877) 876‐2455 or online at https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/. To submit a vacation hold when you are out of town, visit www.usps.com.