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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I came across this forum hoping some Toyota experts can help me. While we do own a Toyota, my question is actually about one that is not mine, it is a vehicle driven by a prolific porch pirate that has been stealing packages and mail from numerous people in my neighborhood. I have been gathering footage from those of us with security cameras and have obtained a number of clear shots of the vehicle however it has no front license plate and I have not been able to catch a good shot of the rear. We believe this is a Highlander SUV and suspect it to be a 2015 model year but I'd like to get confirmation on that as well as any other pertinent information that could be helpful in identifying the vehicle used in these crimes.

Ok apparently I can't post a link in my first post so here's a picture, I'll come back and post a link to the video footage on youtube when it lets me.

285745


I (and my neighbors) appreciate the time anyone can take to assist with this, my own losses were minimal, main thing she stole from me was a package of priority mailing boxes that anyone can order completely free of charge from USPS but it's the principal of the matter that bugs me, and the fact that they have hit the same neighborhood more than once.
 

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2008 Highlander Base
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I agree, I believe that's a 2014.

If those clowns are consistently hitting your area, if it were me I'd be proactive at stopping them. Very proactive. Payback is a bitch as they say.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, are there any visible characteristics specific to the 2014 model? Anyone know the paint code or name? It's silvery gray but I have no idea how many different shades were offered, that seems to be a very popular color lately. If it were a 80s-90s Volvo I'd be able to pinpoint the year and trim level easily but here I'm out of my element so I appreciate any information I can get. I think these are the rims on the perp vehicle? ALY75162U 18x7.5 https://www.hubcaphaven.com/c/495/toyota_highlander_wheels_rims.html
They seem to be less common, I've seen them on a few Lexus SUVs but there are several Highlanders on my street that all have different rims.

Yes I'm being as proactive as I can here, my losses so far have been near zero but it really bothers me to have stuff disappearing, I've had hundreds of packages left on my porch for years, many thousands of dollars worth of stuff and some of it irreplaceable, I never worried in the past about anything being stolen. Now one single incident has made me nervous to have anything left out there. They hit the neighborhood twice last week which surprised me, there are so many similar streets in this area I can't imagine what they were thinking hitting the same one twice. I'm hoping they return so I can catch them, I've installed an additional camera and I think I'll start leaving a bait package out there on the days I work from home. I found a box from an expensive laptop in the office which ought to be irresistible to thieves on the prowl. I was also thinking of having some fun and leaving a damaged box out there with a broken container inside with a biohazard label on it and some harmless substance leaking out all over just to make them crap themselves when they open it and get the stuff all over their hands. An un-capped container of used motor oil could also be amusing, once they tossed the box in their car it would leak out all over the place and make a nice big mess.
 

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That's a difficult one due to the random nature with which they strike. There's just no way to get more detailed information from security camera images, at least those taken from a home. Only thing I can think of to do is to strategically place a trailcam with high quality recording capability along a major funneling street (most neighborhoods nowadays filter down to one, perhaps two streets, at the most by design) and in that way review the footage after a robbery has occurred to read the license plate of the same vehicle. Most thieves are not too bright, and it wouldn't surprise me if the actual license plate is still fixed at the rear end. Other than that, the only other thing is to patrol the neighborhood yourself in your car, assuming the robberies occur around the same time each day. If I caught them red-handed, it would entail a balaclava, aluminum baseball bat, and a smart phone left pinging at home. Male or female, they would not exit the area without a broken femur, hip, and arm. I'm an equal opportunity punisher. :)
 

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Two words: Glitter Bomb

 

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Four Words: Report to the police

Then figure out a way to deal with them before the cops do (if they do). We know it's one of many grey Toyota Highlanders out there, we can't see the license plate, and we for sure don't know the VIN. There is not much else to do other than try to be proactive in dealing with them.
 

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Police can seldom do anything except "step up patrols." I prefer being more proactive with criminals. I know, I know, in modern America everyone runs screaming into the night "VIGILANTISM!," but when the police can't be there or, in states like California where the new law makes thefts under $1,000 a misdemeanor and so has emboldened thieves like you cannot imagine in other states, exacting your own punishment on criminals becomes necessary. Just imagine that--well, you don't have to because it's California--but the state forces you to become criminal in order to protect yourself from criminals who the state grants them as much less culpable for the crimes they commit against others. One word for that: insanity. Welcome to California. :)
 

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Police can seldom do anything except "step up patrols." I prefer being more proactive with criminals. I know, I know, in modern America everyone runs screaming into the night "VIGILANTISM!," but when the police can't be there or, in states like California where the new law makes thefts under $1,000 a misdemeanor and so has emboldened thieves like you cannot imagine in other states, exacting your own punishment on criminals becomes necessary. Just imagine that--well, you don't have to because it's California--but the state forces you to become criminal in order to protect yourself from criminals who the state grants them as much less culpable for the crimes they commit against others. One word for that: insanity. Welcome to California. :)
There's no right answer on what to do. It's hard to say on what I would do too because there are a lot of repercussions on whatever choice is taken.
  • Confront them
  • Attack them
  • Mess with them
  • Call the cops
  • Shoot them
  • Taze them
  • Form a posse
  • Lay a spike stripe
  • Boot their vehicle somehow...
  • Call a news team
  • Catch them in a net
As seen, if people can sue they will sue whether they are the victim or the attacker...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well I'm sure I could take on the perp myself however something that concerns me more than anything else is the threat of retaliation. While I don't personally care what happens to them, the law does not see it that way and I'm unwilling to go to prison for murder/manslaughter/etc over this. That said, I still would very much like to catch them.

I got some great information from someone who happens to be a manager at a local Toyota dealership so I thought I'd share that here:

"Toyota employee here, to be VERY specific that is a 2013-2015 XLE trim Highlander, as only those came with that wheel style as well as a sunroof (seen popped up in the vent position) Hope that helps the authorities narrow it down. Note these wheels are also available on post 2015 LE models, however those do not come with a sunroof. the grille design is also indicative of the '13-'15 model."

Since I started looking I've seen gray Highlanders all over the place, however I have yet to see a single one with those wheels so there may be hope yet. I suspect I'm going to have to play detective and do the legwork myself, but if I can nail down specific information on a suspect then the police will likely give them a visit.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Reporting them to the police is the very first thing I did after I got home and realized what had happened. I called the non-emergency number and was actually very impressed, a deputy was at my door within 10 minutes, he hung out and watched the videos, chatted, wrote up a report and gave me his card with his number and email address, asked me to send him the video footage. Whether he's done anything with that since then I don't know, but at least the response was impressive.

I also reported the theft to USPS, since it was postal mail that was stolen it is a federal crime punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a significant fine. You can bet I'll update them if I find the perps too.
 
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