PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A 26-year-old man admitted to following residents into secure apartment buildings to steal packages, according to court documents.
Brandon A. Phillips appeared in Multnomah County Circuit Court on Thursday and was arraigned on allegations of burglary and mail theft.
The investigation began in mid –June when a detective from the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct was assigned to investigate several cases of stolen packages from closed and secured apartment buildings.
Video from two complexes owned by the same management team shows that on four different dates Phillips unlawfully entered the secure foyer and residential hallways and stole multiple packages.
Video from the apartment complexes appears to show Phillips “convincing unwitting residents of the building to hold open the door for him,” according to court documents. After he was let into the buildings, Phillips would “wander around…looking for packages or other items that he [could] steal.”
The thefts occurred in March and April in the 1900 block of Southeast Morrison Street and near East Burnside and Southeast 13th Avenue, according to court documents.
When interviewed, Phillips admitted he was the person stealing packages, according to court documents.
Officials say it’s important to make sure doors and gated garages close completely before leaving. Doors should never be propped open, especially during move in or move out periods when a criminal may see an opportunity to sneak in.
Officials also say you should never let someone into a secured building without asking them to prove that they live there. Most buildings will have a leasing or purchasing office to help residents who are locked out.
Police encourage people to call 9-1-1 if they see anything suspicious or to report suspicious persons to the building staff or security.