SANTA CLARA (KPIX 5) -- Yet another DoorDash delivery person has been caught on camera dropping off a customer's food and proceeding to steal nearby packages.
The Dec. 7 incident was captured on a high resolution video camera outside a residential complex at 1777 Lafayette Street in Santa Clara.
In surveillance footage, woman with a ponytail, wearing black tights, black hooded sweatshirt and white sneakers can be seen handing off a white plastic bag to a customer, then checking her phone while turning back to watch the customer.
The delivery person turns back to check on the location of the customer a second time then proceeds to head directly to a package sitting on the porch of the end unit. The footage shows her taking the package and walking away.
"My initial reaction is one of disgust. I'm surprised that society has gotten to this point. That people are that bold and brazen that they would deliver food, knowing that their identity is known to the folks there, and then on the way out help themselves to items that don't belong to them," said Captain Wahid Kazem of the Santa Clara Police Department.
Kazem said the woman likely did not realize she was being recorded.
Kent Clemenco, board member of the HOA that operates the building, said after reporting the incident to Santa Clara Police, they phoned a DoorDash representative, who sounded dismissive of their concerns and did not divulge any information about the delivery person.
"And so we contacted DoorDash and they really weren't helpful at all. They didn't seem to care. Makes me not want to use DoorDash. I mean, I think it's kind of shameful actually, that they would do that," said Clemenco.
Kazem said DoorDash has been cooperative in past investigations and that the company is compelled to provide the woman's information.
"My belief is that DoorDash is going to be cooperative with us. Stories like this definitely help put them in the public's eye. And they want their business to do well," Kazem.
Kazem said they would likely have a big break in the case later this week, but since the package was valued at less than $950, the woman would likely only receive a written citation for a misdemeanor and must promise to appear in court, per California law.
"Very fair to say, it's a slap on the wrist. But this is the way that the laws have been re-created and this is the way we have to move forward," said Kazem, "I think with the advent of online shopping, there's a lot more opportunity for people. And that, coupled with the change in sentencing and punishment, has really led to an increase in this type of crime happening."
Last week in Berkeley, a Door Dash delivery person dropping off food in the foyer of a building waited for the customer to leave before rounding up packages nearby and walking out the door with a full stack of boxes.
"Our job is to enforce the law in the way that the legislature and the citizens set the law. That's how we will enforce it," said Kazem.
The disparities in laws are significant. At the same complex on Lafayette Street this past April, a man was captured on video breaking into a mailbox for the U.S. Postal Service. The man pleaded guilty and was recently sentenced to several months in jail.
"I completely understand from the public's perception that there is a huge disparity. And there obviously is. However, we're dealing with two different sets of laws and two different sets of criminal justice system," said Kazem.
In light of the package theft laws, Clemenco said the management is considering its options to reduce package thefts, such as large drop boxes.
"I think the thieves all know that. That they can steal packages and get a slap on the wrist if they get caught," said Clemenco.
DoorDash, headquartered in San Francisco, did not respond to a request for comment.
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