Suspected present thief spends night in jail

A Newport Beach resident accused of stealing residents' Christmas presents off their doorsteps spent Thursday night in the Orange County Sheriff's Department jail, according to booking records with the agency.

Melanie Kathleen Astin, 42, was arrested by Newport Beach on Thursday after officers conducted surveillance in the neighborhood of Fullerton and El Modena avenues, according to police reports.

Officers said Astin allegedly followed a United Parcel Service driver around the neighborhood, then would steal the packages after they were dropped off on different doorsteps.

One family set up a surveillance camera, which caught a woman on camera going up to the door and stealing one of their presents, according to KTLA.

Astin has since been booked on suspicion of grand theft.

If you have any information regarding more thefts or you feel you might have been a victim, call Det. Rick Henry at 949-644-3786 or call (800) 550-NBPD.

—Tom Ragan

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