DA powerless to stop notorious Dyker Heights package thief, residents claim

DA powerless to stop notorious Dyker Heights package thief, residents claim
Alyssa Bello

An infamous Dyker Heights package thief has plagued her neighbors for nearly 20 years, according to victims, who claim that no matter how many times police cuff the serial larcenist, packages continue to vanish.

“I am trying to be extra careful now with my deliveries and my neighbors are as well, but it’s so sad that we have to live like this,” said Alyse Taddeo DeAngelis, whose package was stolen from her stoop by 78th Street and 11th Avenue on July 27. “She seems to always come back.”

The courier crook, who served two brief prison stints in 2016 and 2017 for stealing packages, was arrested five times for petty larceny and trespassing charges in Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst in 2019 alone, and her only penalty this year was five days of community service, according to a spokesman for District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

Her other 2019 arrests ended in either a conditional discharge, or adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, although a judge has issued a bench warrant for her arrest after she failed to show at a court hearing last month following an alleged parcel heist on July 16.

And this year was no fluke — the package thief’s rapsheet extends back to the turn of the century — and locals doubt that the serial package pilferer will ever face any serious punishment.

“She was arrested, and they issued a restraining order. But she still does it,” said Daniela DiLeo Romano, whose surveillance cameras caught the thief taking packages off her porch two years ago. “She stole from all of my neighbors, too.”

And many residents recognize the packet purloiner as longtime local, who once worked at an Italian restaurant on 72nd Street and 18th Avenue. DeAngelis says she used to be friendly with the neighborhood thief, and would often greet her in passing.

“It’s like she lives this secret life of stealing packages on people’s doorsteps,” DeAngelis speculated. “It’s so sad what’s become of her.”

Romano says her family is on friendly terms with the crook’s clan, who are embarrassed to be associated with the serial parcel perp.

“My husband knew her sister, who is mortified that her sister does this,” Romano said.

Many locals want the looter to face a harsher punishment than a few months in prison, and blame Gonzalez for not pressing charges sooner. One resident, Alyssa Bello, who saw the box bandit steal her package in December 2018, says she tried to pressure the District Attorney’s office to act, but claims prosecutors dropped the ball.

“I did the paperwork for the DA so she could be sent to court and I got an order of protection, but apparently it didn’t do much. She was arrested and released even after repeatedly stealing,” Bello said. “She’s out and about doing it all over again, thanks to the DA.”

But prosecutors say their hands are tied. Petty theft is a Class A misdemeanor, meaning that if convicted, the thief could face a maximum sentence of one year in prison, and the law forbids judges from considering multiple petty theft charges when sentencing.

One peeved resident claimed the thief steals packages to fuel her drug addiction, and advocated counseling over jail time.

“She’s doing it for money for drugs,” Romano said. ”They should mandate her to go to a drug rehab.”

Meanwhile, Bensonhurst and Dyker Heights residents have banded together out of a shared interest of actually getting their mail, and lookout for their neighbor’s packages — lest the package thief get them first.

“My neighbors and I try to take in packages for each other so as to not have her come stealing, but it’s hard sometimes,” DeAngelo said. “We shouldn’t have to live in fear.”

Messages left for the Dyker Heights package thief and with her attorney were not returned.

Reach reporter Rose Adams at radams@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–8306. Follow her on Twitter @rose_n_adams
Delivery thief: A Dyker Heights box bandit was last seen swiping a neighbor’s delivery on August 9th, when a resident saw her tearing up a package on 77th Street and 15th Avenue.
Alyssa Bello