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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

The Spokesman-Review carriers apologize, pay restitution for theft of Christmas package in northeast Spokane

UPDATED: Fri., Dec. 24, 2021

A man identified by a northeast Spokane woman as a thief who stole a Christmas package from her porch after delivering a newspaper is seen Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, in this surveillance video.   (Alice Irvin/Nextdoor)
A man identified by a northeast Spokane woman as a thief who stole a Christmas package from her porch after delivering a newspaper is seen Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, in this surveillance video.  (Alice Irvin/Nextdoor)

A customer of The Spokesman-Review in northeast Spokane said she’s accepted the apology of the paper carriers she believes were responsible for stealing a Christmas package from her porch earlier this month.

Alice Irvin posted a video to social media of the apparent theft on Dec. 15.

She reported the theft to the paper’s circulation department, who told her to notify police.

“It was a pound of candy made by the Amish back in Ohio,” Irvin said Wednesday. “It’s a special thing (my daughter) sends to me.”

The video, captured on a home surveillance camera, shows a man dropping what appears to be a newspaper on Irvin’s front porch. He then walks out of the frame with a book-sized parcel in his left hand.

The man was identified by the paper’s circulation managers as a subcontractor of another man who is responsible for the route. Carriers are independent contractors, not employees of The Spokesman-Review, said Kathleen Coleman, director of sales and marketing for the newspaper. That’s why a police investigation is necessary, she said.

“We proceed based on their findings,” Coleman said. About 200 carriers deliver newspapers covering 259 routes, she said.

Irvin said after the apology, and one of the men paying her back for the value of the package, she’s not interested in pursuing criminal charges.

“My job in life is to accept restitution and apology and forgive them,” she said. “If the police wanted to do anything, it’s up to you guys and them, not me.”

Irvin said she hopes the carriers keep their jobs. Coleman said Thursday the carriers would not be losing their jobs with The Spokesman-Review.

“He always put my paper on the porch in the summer,” Irvin said. “He needs to know there’s too many dang Ring doorbells out there to be doing this.”

The Spokane Police Department has dedicated one officer to reviewing surveillance video of package thefts during the holidays. Images of thieves are being posted to social media, and tips can be sent in to thefttips@spokanepolice.org.

Those who believe they’ve been the victim of a package theft can also contact Crime Check at (509) 456-2233 or online at srec911.org.

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