LASD detectives from the Lomita Sheriff’s Station have caught a man dubbed the “porch package Grinch” after he stole a package from a Rancho Palos Verdes residence. Upon arresting 42-year-old San Pedro resident Michael Wieczorek, the LASD also discovered evidence that connected him to an identity theft ring and other stolen property worth thousands of dollars.
According to an LASD press release, it was a domino effect for the “Grinch” when LASD caught him red-handed with a package plucked from a Redondela Drive home. After recovering the package, deputies found on Wieczorek’s person narcotics, credit cards, a stolen ID, and a Kershaw-brand knife that had been previously been reported stolen in Rancho Palos Verdes.
When the LASD searched Wieczorek’s home, deputies discovered the rest of the “Grinch’s” plunder. Items recovered included vacuum cleaners, jewelry, toys, an air-soft pellet rifle, blenders, clothing and cookware. Included among the stolen goods was a set of stolen pajamas under Wieczorek’s Christmas tree that was innocuously labeled “To: Mom, Love Michael.” Deputies recovered other stolen property from under the Christmas tree, which along with the rest of the stolen items, are believed to have been obtained through porch robberies.
Police also believed that part of the stolen items were obtained through identity theft. Wieczorek’s residence revealed computers, credit card reading devices, counterfeit California Driver’s license, altered checks, and fraudulent tax returns. The LASD believes that Wieczorek used these items as a method to file those false tax returns under the victims’ identities. Wieczorek also had a vast collection of stolen mail from far flung locations like Torrance, Long Beach, Auburn, and Bellevue, Washington. Much of the stolen mail were personal Christmas cards.
Wieczorek has already been released on a $20,000 bond and will appear at the Torrance Superior Court on January 10th, 2013. The LASD was not available for comment.
Detectives from Lomita Sheriff’s Station will provide an opportunity for those who believe they have been victims of this crime to reclaim their property. The recovered property will be on display at Lomita Sheriff’s Station, 26123 Narbonne Avenue, Lomita on Friday, December 21, 2012, from 12PM to 2PM. Any questions about the showing should be directed to Lomita Sheriff’s Station Detective Sergeant Mark Moffett or Detective David Peterson at (310) 539-1661.
Palos Verdes Patch: Detectives Arrest Suspected ‘Grinch’
Daily News: Stolen Christmas gift leads to arrest of man charged with taking packages from porches