woman stealing packages

Image courtesy of Sterling Heights police.

Police Bust 'White Female Grinch' Operating In Detroit Suburbs

November 20, 2018 - 6:39 pm

STERLING HEIGHTS (WWJ) - "Thank you for your help and thank you for saving Christmas."

That's the word from Sterling Heights police, Tuesday evening, who say they have identified a suspect they compared to the Grinch.

Sterling Heights investigators earlier had asked for tips as they worked to ID a "white female Grinch" who's been stealing packages off doorsteps in the Macomb County community.

"The term grinchy shall apply when Christmas spirit is in short supply. We are calling for your help to identify this Grinch before she has a chance to ruin someone else’s Christmas," police wrote on the department's Facebook page. 

In one instance the woman was caught on a home security camera, grabbing boxes off a porch before driving away. "The video shows this modern day Grinch traded her sled in for a dark colored mini-van. The Modus Operandi of this Grinch is to swoop in and steal the package shortly after being delivered," police said. 

While Sterling Heights residents were asked to keep their eyes peeled, an arrest was made in a neighboring city.

Utica police said a woman accused of stealing packages off doorsteps in her own neighborhood was busted when a resident followed her mini-van, got her license plate number and called police. Police recovered a number of pilfered parcels from several homes with labels ripped from the boxes.

After that, it didn't take long for investigators to realize that the same Grinch had struck both communities.

"With the help of the Utica Police Department and our viewers we were able to identify this suspect," Sterling Heights police said.

While the unnamed suspect is expected to face charges in Utica, she may be off the hook in Sterling Heights where Lt. Mario Bastianelli said they don't plan to pursue a criminal case.

"Around the holidays, it’s pretty common for this to happen," Bastianelli told the Detroit Free Press, adding that people whose items were stolen are just glad to have them back.

Utica police could not immediately be reached for comment.