Texas Model Accused in Series of Porch Thefts of Packages Caught on Video


Authorities in Texas arrested a woman on suspicion of stealing a sizable stash of packages from the doorsteps of houses in the community.

According to KTVT, Dallas police detained 33-year-old Kelli Russell during a traffic stop after receiving information from her neighbors that she fit the description of the wanted thief.

A number of victims had reportedly shared surveillance footage depicting a woman taking boxes from their homes. At least two residents of an apartment complex in Dallas saw one of the videos on social media and said they believed the suspect was their neighbor.

“I recognized the car and he immediately recognized the girl,” said Aubrey White.

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Both residents then contacted authorities with their tip.

Soon after stopping the suspect, officers searched her home and reportedly found a trove of stolen property. White said police took an “insane amount of things” out of Russell’s apartment.

“They took two police cars, like the trunks and the backseats were both full of packages and stuff,” she said.

White added to the allegations by telling reporters that she regularly saw Russell dispose of a large number of boxes.

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“Took packages, boxes to that dumpster across the street, because ours was full,” she said.

Another neighbor said she would not have suspected Russell, whose public profiles describe her as a model and bartender, was capable of committing such a brazen crime.

“As far as I know, she’s a nice girl,” Leann Dawson said. “So this is a total shock.”

In fact, she said she would often make an effort to ensure no one bothered any of Russell’s deliveries.

“She received a lot of packages,” Dawson said. “We just watched, made sure no one confiscated them.”

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A number of victims have already notified police and launched their own efforts to track down the thief.

Earlier this month, KXAS spoke to some neighbors who formed an ad hoc community watch program in response to the spike in residential thefts.

“There’s a few of us who just committed to donating an hour or two of our time to just have extra eyes and ears in the neighborhood, driving around looking for the vehicle,” Annie Smith said of the newly formed group.

She was taking the Wednesday morning shift, she said, explaining the purpose as similar to such efforts in previous generations.

“It just goes back to the days of neighborhood watch just like our parents had. I mean, our parents did neighborhood watch decades ago.”

While many locals realized their packages had been stolen, investigators believe the majority of evidence collected from Russell’s home belonged to victims of unreported crimes.

As of the latest reports available, authorities said they plan to charge her with an elevated theft charge reflecting the combined value of the allegedly stolen items.

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism - Averett University
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