Ballantyne neighbors help catch package stealing thieves

Ballantyne neighbors help catch package stealing thieves

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on October 21, 2011 at 11:33 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 24 at 8:37 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Neighbors in the Ballantyne area helped police outwit a team of thieves who'd been on the take since this summer - stealing packages from people's front porches.

Officers have a man in custody but still haven't tracked down his female partner.

“I know all my neighbors. Know all their kids. If a strange car shows up we get curious,” said Paul Aarons. He heads up the neighborhood watch in his community, where they all became very curious when word started to spread about a silver BMW that kept showing up - and packages that started disappearing.

Police said Gerald McConnel and Heidi Nelson would follow delivery trucks through the neighborhood and steal the packages left on people's porches.

There have been 24 complaints in all since August.

So the neighbors worked with police to figure out who was behind it. They regularly spotted a BMW following a delivery truck.

“One of our neighbors has a camera system, did some investigating look at times. Kind of looking at the times and stuff kind of found some odd things going on in the neighborhoods. Neighbors spoke up and said 'I’ve seen odd things too.' Kind of put the pieces together,” said Aarons.

McConnel is now in jail but police are still looking for Heidi Nelson.

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