Christmas package thief arrested while driving stolen van with items belonging to 90 victims

MONROE, Wash. — Police arrested a man driving a stolen vehicle in Monroe early Christmas morning.

A Monroe police officer was conducting a security check in the Fryelands neighborhood when they spotted the 50-year-old from Lake Stevens driving a stolen 1998 Ford Econoline van.

The man briefly eluded the officer, stopping in a gas station parking lot in the 13800 block of Fryelands Boulevard, then fleeing on foot, but he was quickly apprehended and taken into custody.

Officers saw several packages within the stolen vehicle, which they believed were Christmas presents meant for residents in the neighborhood.

After police got a search warrant for the van, on New Year’s Day they reported finding unopened mail and packages belonging to 90 victims, officials said.

Police are now working to return all the mail to its owners.

More charges are expected to be filed against the suspected thief.

The same day the 50-year-old man was arrested, officers also observed a blue 2011 Honda CR-V being driven in the same area that they have since learned was stolen by a second subject.

Authorities are continuing to investigate and are actively looking for this second stolen car. They ask anyone with information or tips to call 911 or their non-emergency dispatch at 425-407-3999.