Opinion: Rancho Santa Fe thief gets unexpected loot

Where did my package go? I asked my husband and no, he had not picked it up. Nor had my parents. Hmmm….could it have gone missing?

It had been there the prior day as I opened the front door while holding my 10-month-old baby in my arms and decided it was too heavy to try to pick up while also juggling my son. No worries, I’ll get it tomorrow.

Tomorrow, it was gone.

After a few days, I became convinced that it was missing. Initially, I found that hard to believe as we live at the end of a cul-de-sac in sleepy Rancho Santa Fe. And we have two large German Shepherds who regularly roam the property. But, our entry gate was down and in the process of repair. I started to wonder. Could someone have stolen it?

A few years ago, there were a series of acts of vandalism on our street involving street and entry lights. Our house was a victim. I decided then to install security cameras as I was angry and wanted to know who did this – or at least catch them in the act next time.

I couldn’t let go of the thought that we’d been robbed. I started the rather painful process of reviewing the video footage from the time I knew the package was there until it disappeared. Slowly, tediously, images of the mundane passed before me. I never knew quite how much activity there was on the property. People came and went. Dogs roamed around. But then, I noticed something odd.

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 2:58 p.m., a truck pulled in front of our front door, slowly turned his oversized vehicle around and stopped. It was a newer truck – quite fancy, in fact, but no obvious markings other than what looked like a “V8” symbol above his left wheel well.

I watched as the German Shepherds approached. “Good dogs, they are on it,” I thought. I watched as the man lowered his window (clearly power) and poked his head out of the cab. The dogs circle his truck and then go out of frame. He is concerned about them and proceeds to drop something on the ground. A treat?

Several minutes pass as he assesses the situation. He then proceeds to lower himself from his super-high perch. This is no small truck and it is clearly some lifted version. I notice the wheels are quite nice – chrome, see-through and oversized. He has no running boards so it’s a long drop and he braces himself and lands awkwardly. He is not a young man.

He apprehensively looks around. The dogs are still out of frame.

He approaches the front door and looks inside. He does not ring the bell.

I am inside the house working, completely oblivious to the man’s presence on the other side of my front door. My 10- month-old son is napping in a room not far away from the scene. I become increasingly uncomfortable watching the video.

He looks into the windows by the front door several times and then down at the package. He even bends over to get a closer look before proceeding over to my husband’s office to peer into the windows there. He is not home.

After looking back towards the dogs again and assessing no credible threat (note to self, “fire the dogs”), he hastily scurries back to the front door and picks up the package, waddles off with it (wow, must be heavy, I was right!) throws it into his cab, climbs back in and drives away.

All of this happens in 4-and-a-half minutes.

I’m in disbelief. I had suspected theft but to see it happen in real-time is unnerving. I become angry. This man not only stole from me, but violated my personal property and threatened my family.

What was in the box?

I begin the machinations to track shipments to our address. After several attempts, I successfully persuade a UPS agent to reverse engineer and track recent deliveries to our address without a tracking number – a veritable feat. Amazon! Aha! — mystery solved.

I immediately go through our order history and realize the contents of the box.

I daydream about the moment this thief scurries into his private place to learn of the contents of his loot and try to picture his face when he discovers two cases of Similac Advanced baby formula. Surely, he must pause.

He has done the unthinkable – stolen food from a baby. Nice.

— Kimberly Alexi

Have you seen this man or his truck?

Suspect: caucasian male, 35-55 years, under 6 feet tall, grey or blonde hair, beard, glasses and was wearing baseball cap, jeans and short-sleeve striped shirt.

Vehicle: possibly driving a 2004 NISSAN TITAN King Cab. It may be grey, green or blue. The truck is “lifted” at least six inches, possibly 10. It has a single entry cab, no running boards, large chrome or white see-through wheels and a “V8” symbol above the left front wheel well. This is a very nice, newer and reasonably expensive truck and is not that common.

If you have any information about this man, his truck or this case, please call the Encinitas Sheriff’s Dept. at (760) 966-3500 and reference case #11155679.

Thank you for your help! — Kimberly Alexi

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