Details are still coming in, but it appears our blond porch bandit that has been hitting Lakewood, M Streets, the Park Cities, and Midway Hollow has indeed been arrested (Note: This post has been updated to reflect requests by detectives working the case).
Dallas police say Russell was caught at 12:40 p.m. yesterday in the 4900 block of Lancaster Road for multiple traffic violations. The stop was made police received a tip that Russell, 33, matched the description of the person caught in several videos stealing packages.
“The suspect was arrested for those traffic violations and taken in for questioning,” Dallas Police Department public information officer Debra Webb said. “Detectives then executed a search warrant at her residence and found a large amount of stolen packages.”
Since most of the thefts haven’t yet been reported, detectives are tasked with tracking down all of Russell’s alleged victims and determining the value of the items in the packages.
“Detectives will then file an aggregate theft offense against the suspect,” Webb said.
Later this afternoon, an alleged victim of Russell’s said that a detective had already returned her items, and was told that law enforcement is asking for assistance from those who believe they were also hit by package theft in identifying all of the packages and items.
The same victim says she was told that the hope is that Russell will be charged with a felony offense based on the aggregate value of the packages allegedly stolen. Those who feel they may have been a victim can fill out a lost property report here. If you feel mail or packages that would’ve been delivered by the U.S. Postal Service was stolen, you will need to follow these instructions, as this is a federal offense.
Currently, Russell’s Dallas County Jail book-in information only lists the traffic offenses related to driving a car without a license plate. The vehicle allegedly driven by the package thief pictured in several social media posts was a Buick Rendezvous with no license plates.
Lakewood residents were both angered and amazed at the thief’s nerve — even after our initial report and several reports by local news media, the Lakewood porch pirate continued to hit Tuesday evening.
It appears that Russell has a current GoFundMe campaign up entitled “Help Kelli Get a Car.”
In her introduction to the campaign — which was started on Dec. 11, 2017, Russell says she’s been without a car for two years.
“I bust my ass daily, seven days a week, working 3 jobs and I still can’t save for a car because of all my medical bills that only seem to stay the same no matter how much I put towards them due to my horrible insurance in the past that didn’t cover any MRIs, overnight hospital stays and, more recently, the BRCA gene test,” Russell wrote.
“I ride the train every day and in just a couple of months I’ve witnessed a suicide, an attempted murder by gang members, drunks, half naked women at 6am, and even been followed so I have to arm myself with multiple weapons just to get to and from work,” she continued.
The rest of the post explains that she is a generous and independent person, but is suffering from anxiety and depression.
We have reached out to a few of Russell’s Facebook friends to see if they can shed any light into what may have happened in Russell’s life, and have reached out to Russell as well.
We’ll also keep you updated on any additional charges.
No word on if any of the packages allegedly found in her apartment, by the way, contain dog poop.
Bethany Erickson is the education, consumer affairs, and public policy columnist for CandysDirt.com. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.