Pair busted for swiping UPS packages off peoples front steps

Aaron Sandeen of Aloha and Bell Anderson of Hillsboro were arrested Wednesday, Dec. 14

Two people were arrested last week for allegedly stealing Christmas presents from the doorsteps of homes throughout Washington County.

Aaron Sandeen, 26, of Aloha and Bell Anderson, 25, of Hillsboro were arrested Wednesday, Dec. 14. Deputies believe Anderson and Sandeen were following UPS, Fed Ex and postal trucks and stealing packages from homes in Tigard, Bethany, Cedar Mill and Hillsboro, said Sgt. David Thompson, a spokesman with the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Washington County Sheriff's deputies were called to the community of Cedar Mill at about 3:25 p.m. on Dec. 14, near Northwest Thompson Road and Saltzman Road, after neighbors reported witnessing the thefts.

Deputies were given a detailed description of the two thieves, as well as their vehicle, and searched for half an hour before finding Anderson, Sandeen in a silver Jeep Liberty, said Sgt. Vance Stimler, a spokesman with the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

In addition to matching witness descriptions, Stimler said packages similar to ones taken from the houses were found in the vehicle.

Hillsboro police officers were already investigating Anderson and Sandeen for a string of package thefts, Stimler said.

Hillsboro Police detectives searched the Jeep and Anderson's home and say they found a total of 50 boxes that had been shipped through the Post Office, UPS and FedEx to homes across Washington County.

So far, police say the boxes are believed to be worth at least $1,000 of stolen property, but that number is likely to increase as detectives continue to sort through the property, Hillsboro police said in a statement.

Anderson and Sandeen were charged with multiple counts of theft.

Both Sandeen and Anderson are lodged in the Washington County Jail.

'The problem of package theft is a year-round problem. However, during the holidays, this crime increases dramatically,' Thompson said in a statement. 'Deputies want to remind people not to have packages left on their front porch. Make sure someone signs for the package or pick it up from the delivering companies distribution center.'

If you believe you are a victim of a similar theft, call 503-681-6175.