PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Police say a 33-year-old woman, seen taking at least 7 holiday greeting cards from a mailbox, is now charged with mail theft.

Brookelyn Vanhook was arrested Thursday and charged Friday, officials said.

Officers were called to reports of a theft in the 3400 block of SE 153rd and  learned a woman was seen taking holiday greeting cards from a mailbox and then leaving the area.

A short time later, another 911 call was made from the 15600 block of Southeast Madison Court.

Rick Jensen told KOIN 6 News he was watching his grandson when he saw a vehicle do a slow drive-by. The vehicle stood out when it passed in front of his house for a second time, he said.

Jensen said a package had just been delivered to the home across the street. A woman went up to the doorstep and took the package, according to police and Jensen, then got into the vehicle and drove off.

Jensen got a vehicle description and told police.

Brookelyn Vanhook, Dec. 11, 2015 (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)
Brookelyn Vanhook, Dec. 11, 2015 (Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)

Officers eventually tracked down Vanhook in the neighborhood and she was arrested. When police arrested her she was found in possession of a shipping label, according to court records. Vanhook told police that “she found it on an empty box.”

Vanhook admitted she had taken the greeting cards “and once she realized she had taken Christmas cards, she felt bad and dropped them in a blue box to be mailed,” according to court documents.

Vanhook told police she was with 3 other people and didn’t realize that they were stealing packages. Vanhook has only been charged for stealing the Christmas cards. She has not been charged with stealing the package from Jensen’s neighbor.

Carol Krause said Portland police returned her granddaughter’s stolen Christmas present.Safety tips

On Monday, United States Postal Inspector Adam L. Sale said mail and parcels should never be left unattended. Mail carriers are always on the lookout for suspicious activity on their routes, he said.

Sale suggested people using USPS should visit its website for holiday shipping security tips.

Rae Lyn Rushing, a senior communications specialist with FedEx, says it offers “Delivery Manager” service that allows people to schedule their delivery times, request signatures, and can have packages sent to FedEx Office locations.

UPS allows people to have packages delivered to “Access Points” which are lockers to keep packages safe.

Amazon.com offers something similar through its “Amazon Lockers” feature. Packages of certain size will deleivered to lockers. The receiver then picks up the package using a special code that is e-mailed or texted.

Vanhook appeared in court on Friday and entered a not guilty plea on one count of mail theft.