Burglars invade Oakland homes dressed as Amazon delivery workers

Burglars have been caught on camera prowling and breaking into homes in Oakland while dressed as Amazon delivery workers.

One surveillance video shows a man wearing what appears to be an Amazon vest getting out of a Ford Explorer outside a home in the Oakland hills. He is seen holding a package at the front door of the home in the Oakmore neighborhood earlier this month.

But the resident tells KTVU, the delivery was all an act. 

"They're impersonating an Amazon delivery driver," said the resident, who did not want her name used. 

After confirming no one was home, the guy in the Amazon vest and several others in regular clothes used a crowbar to break into the home. She says they left with what she described as irreplaceable items.

"It's just scary because they are getting bolder. They think that this Amazon vest is going to protect them from not being suspicious," the woman said.

She is not alone.

An hour later, the same men, one in an Amazon vest, showed up at another Oakland hills home and stole cash, jewelry, designer bags and shoes. That victim told KTVU the group left behind the crowbar apparently used in the earlier incident. The crowbar has been turned over to police.

Another video shows two men, with one wearing what looks like an Amazon vest, prowling outside another home in the Oakland hills. 

The residents weren't home but scared them off through their doorbell camera.

"Get the f- out of there!" the resident yells.

He told KTVU he's frustrated that burglars and prowlers as masquerading as delivery people.

"They're using the cover of Amazon to gain access to people's property," he said. "Having that jacket makes the resident think that they're supposed to be coming to your front door."


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The woman whose house was burglarized agreed, saying, "If you can't even trust the delivery system, it just makes me concerned about what these people are willing to do."

There was a similar break-in at an apartment building on Park Boulevard Way near I-580 in Oakland's Trestle Glen neighborhood in January. 

"An Amazon delivery guy with a blue Amazon vest came up to our door. He was holding a package," said the victim's neighbor.

But no one answered the door.

"They hopped onto my neighbor's patio, broke through the glass and found there was nothing to steal because they're selling the apartment," the neighbor said.

An Amazon spokesman told KTVU it's unclear if any actual workers are involved and that the company will cooperate with any police investigation.

On Thursday Oakland Police Department issued an alert acknowledging the recent trend of burglars dressed as Amazon workers. They said they are actively investigating each case and had some tips to prevent this kind of crime. Police advise making sure your home looks occupied and to make it difficult to break in. In addition they suggested connecting lamps to an automatic timer to give the appearance that someone is home. 

Henry Lee is a crime reporter at KTVU. E-mail him at Henry.Lee@fox.com and follow him on Twitter @henrykleektvu and facebook.com/henrykleefan