By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV

CHARLESTOWN (CBS) — Boston police are warning residents of a holiday scrooge in Charlestown who is stealing packages from people’s front doors.

Police say in some cases, the thief is actually signing for the deliveries.

Investigators say they are targeting packages from the US Postal Service, Fed Ex and UPS.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports.

In Charlestown, some people were shocked to hear about this real-life Grinch. John Benson tells WBZ, “It’s a shame that it’s come to that. People used to have more respect for each others’ gifts and each other’s rights. If we’re getting so busy and desperate, that’s a real loss for civilization, especially in the Christmas season.”

The Cavilla’s say they’re not surprised, which is why they have all of their packages delivered to work. “There is usually no entranceway to leave a package, so you’re just leaving it out on the stairs and it’s very tempting for people,” said Amy Cavilla.

Her husband Bob gets his packages sent to the office. “They get sent to my office and the UPS guy laughs at me. Every package gets sent to my work.”

The US Postal Service says you can protect yourself by arranging to pick up packages at the post office, or arranging for a friend or neighbor to pick up packages at your home.

If you’re convicted of stealing mail, you could face up to five years in federal prison, and a $250,000 fine.

Comments (51)
  1. cynic says:

    When making a comment when you click on submit comment it disappaers and everything goes back to the beginning of the story…….Why is is? Does anyone else have this problem?

  2. cynic says:

    I would like to comment on the nature of this article but after five attempts I have come to the conclusion that my opinion doesn’t meet with WBZ’s approval.

  3. cynic says:

    I have figured it out….Comments on the Demographics of Charlestown are not allowed.

  4. Cynic says:

    Charlestown used to be nice…people could afford to live there.

  5. Cyinc says:

    $35,000.00 homes are now going for 1/2-3/4 Million….I wonder who drove the prices up.

  6. cynic says:

    I wonder if it is the same crowd that complains that the Cannon Fire from the Constitution distrubes thier Sunday morning sleep.

  7. Cynic says:

    What has the owrld come to when a person can’t even get thier package from Bonwit-Teller or Shrieve,crump and Low

  8. scooby says:

    Cynic is funny…But neighbors, if there are any must look out for one another

  9. Atilla the Nun says:

    Grabbing folk’s packages right on their doorsteps ..who do these thieves are?….TSA employees?

    1. Don says:

      thanks, gave me a laugh this cold morning in Virginia!

  10. harndime says:

    urban decay east coast is the worst. suffer suckers

  11. Linda B says:

    The Christmas Season is a time to PACK YOUR PISTOLS~!

  12. Linda B says:

    I carry all year long, everywhere I go!!!

    1. alleycat says:

      I hope your aim is good and right for the head!

  13. bbbbbbbbbbbbb says:


  14. Chris says:

    Who-TF are the “Cavilla’s”? Do you mean “the Cavillas” or do you mean “the Cavilla’s house”? Get your apostrophe’s (sic!) straight!

    1. TravlnTexan says:

      Too bad you are more concerned with the spelling/grammar/punctuation than the content…I think that’s why Obama got elected.

  15. irishsmile says:

    Truly, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

  16. Patriot says:

    probably done by some i-l-l-e-g-a-l…..

  17. eanmdphd says:

    Unless the delivery driver knows someone, perhaps it is reasonable to take a photo of the person who is signing for the parcel. It would not bother me to have my photo taken if it keeps crime away from my doorstep.

    As far as leaving packages on the doorstep / in the hallway, I suggest that packages over a certain value not be left anywhere.

  18. Amy says:

    I just discovered it looks like I was a victim of theft as well. I have two packages that I just found out today were delivered to my house in South Boston that I never received. This is the last straw for me, time to get a gun license.

    1. Dave says:

      I license to get a gun???? LOL

    2. Texas Guy says:

      You might as well ask for a license to be theft free. Or a license to not have crime in you life.

      It’s Boston. The State of Massachusetts has already decided that issue for you.

      You deserve the representation you elect.

    3. thedummyfromthebackoftheclass says:

      Get an LTC in Boston??? are you kidding???you have a better chance of seeing the Loch Ness monster swim up the Charles…

  19. cynic says:

    Were these “Suspicious Packages”? Maybe The FBI has them.

    1. Amy says:

      Well there was a watch in one of them and if it came in working order should have been ticking :). Ya know, I have had UPS leave packages on our door step listing completely the wrong address. One of them was a 9600 diamond ring!! My husband had been waiting for a delivery and automatically opened it (thinking that was what he was waiting for)…to his surprise (and my extreme disappointment that it wasn’t intended for me), it was a gorgeous engagement ring. We were able to track down it’s rightful owner who was sweating bullets waiting for the ring to arrive so he could propose to his fiance in Hawaii. That’s why having these two gifts stolen from me is particularly painful. :(

  20. dori says:


  21. Dave says:

    Sorry, came across this article while surfing. Didn’t know there were still places where you have to have a license to have a gun. I guess Nevada is still the wild, wild west.

  22. Wee -Willy -Winkie says:

    What can brown do for you?

    1. Texas Guy says:

      Steal your packages for you. Nice pun!

  23. jmcaul says:

    It would be really easy for a dishonest person to follow Fedex, UPS or Postal Service delivery vans this time of year in neighborhoods during the day and then after they drop something off at a home, go up to the door and take the package. I sent a Christmas care package to my son last year via UPS. The delivery driver said they delivered it, but it wasn’t there when he got to the house. This has also happened to two co-workers.

  24. zone says:

    Hope robber gets the “special” delivery he really deserves. Would be glad to contribute myself if I could be sure only he got it.

  25. Dennis D says:

    Whats the big deal? Its just redistribution of wealth like Obamacare.

  26. flossmore says:

    Yeah….everybody just go arm themselves….that’s the ticket……and it will surly fix the problem ! Simple solution for some of you mongrels…..don’t have any home deliveries, if you’re not going to be home…..duh!

    1. Bob says:

      how would having a gun solve the problem if you’re not there to accept the package – you’re an idiot.

  27. JDH says:

    Cynic…what’s under your tree???

  28. Teddy Kennedy's SEARCH+RESCUE says:

    “We Are The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For…To Sign For Your Package” –

  29. Blissie says:

    People stealing gifts off doorsteps and others desperately attempting to find some way to get insulting posts regarding their neighbors through the automated censors. That is so cool you guys.

  30. Todd says:

    What about mandating delivery companies check identification against the one on the package and, if the company hands over a package to the wrong person, the company is held financially responsible?

  31. Hero says:

    true that, and spics as well!

  32. someguy says:

    I think the problem is problem some inbred white trash racist is trying to ruin christmas for everyone.

  33. Bob says:

    sounds less risky if you would just shoplift

  34. steve says:

    That 500,000 fine is only if you steal from the Post Office. Not if you steal from UPS or FedEx

  35. dan says:

    karma…..hopefully they steal a mail bomb

  36. David says:

    I have thought of moving to Charlestown, but then I wonder, “Where I would park my car?”, “Why is the rent so high for rooms that are so small?”, “Why isn’t there a washing machine in the apartment?”, “Why are the heaters so ineffective?”, and now “Where would the postman leave my packages?” It’s half elite yuppies and half ghetto, making for a dangerous mix.

  37. Delirious says:

    Get a hidden camera for your steps by the light post. It’ll stop it from happening.

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