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Newport Beach woman arrested in Christmas package theft case

December 23, 2010 | 10:12 pm

A 42-year-old woman was arrested Thursday in Newport Beach for allegedly stealing Christmas packages delivered to porches, police said.

During the past few days, several people have had packages taken from their homes after they were left by FedEx and UPS couriers, the Newport Beach Police Department said.

Detectives conducting surveillance Thursday spotted Melanie Kathleen Astin allegedly following a delivery truck in the 300 block of El Modena Avenue, according to police. Detectives found previously delivered packages and booked Astin on grand theft charges.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call Det.  Rick Henry at (949) 644-3786 or 1-800-550-NBPD.

--Robert J. Lopez