Just days ago, it happened again. Cleveland Police video shows what investigators are finding at the scene, and it led us to ask if they have the clues to stop this?
On one video clip, an officer reacts in disbelief as he spots boxes and boxes of stolen packages Dumped outside an Amazon van that had been stolen.
The officer says on his police radio, “We have these packages that are out in the middle of a field.”
Another clip shows an Amazon driver describing for police how he got held-up by a thief.
“He hopped in the truck. Saw a gun in his right hand. He didn’t like raise it, and point it at me. but, the way he was holding it…” the driver said.
In another clip, patrol officers question another driver who’d been robbed, asking him to describe the gun and more.
Since Thanksgiving weekend, six local Amazon drivers have been robbed. Five in Cleveland and one in Cleveland Heights.
The latest case happened last week near East 101st Street and Superior.
Crooks are stealing delivery vans, packages and even the phones and wallets belonging to the drivers. All of the vans stolen were found later.
At one scene, an officer reacts by saying, “They emptied it out pretty fast.” And, “It’s completely empty.”
At another scene, you hear an officer say, “It’s abandoned.”
More than one of these cases happened with the keys in the trucks. Thieves hopped in when the drivers stepped away. Then, the robbers pointed guns out the doors.
One driver told police a robber put a gun in his face.
Reports we reviewed showed, as the stolen delivery vans rolled away, they were followed by cars or sport utility vehicles.
The video also shows more questioning of the victims, and that sheds more light on how the crimes have been carried out.
An officer asks one driver, “So you were on foot then? You weren’t by the truck at that point?”
The driver answered, “He caught me on my way back to the truck. He wanted the keys. He wanted the phone.”
Another driver spoke of how the man robbing him gave him orders. The victim told police, “He said, ‘Don’t make no noise or nothing.’ So, I just walked. He sped off.”
While the video shows police scrambling, they’ve had no luck catching the crooks. We’ve learned investigators hope fingerprints or other scientific evidence will help them solve the cases.
We reached out to Amazon for comment on this story. As of late Friday, we had not heard back. But, previously Amazon has said it is working with law enforcement, and the company would make things right with any customers who didn’t receive packages.