Amazon delivery van, 71 packages stolen in El Sobrante

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Photo credit: Contra Costa CHP

Rather than the typical route of swiping packages from porches, these thieves went straight for the Amazon van.

A man is in custody and another is being sought in connection with the theft of an Amazon delivery van and dozens of packages in El Sobrante on Thursday, July 11, according to the California Highway Patrol.

At about 1:20 p.m. that day, an Amazon worker was delivering packages from his Ram 1500 work van when, at a stop in the El Sobrante area, he exited the van to check on a partially open door, CHP said.

One of the suspects, believed to be 48-year-old Charles Farmer, used the opportunity to jump into the van and drive away. The suspect drove the van to a location in El Sobrante, parking behind several freight containers to keep hidden. Then, he and his accomplice, identified as Steve Ackelbein, loaded 71 packages from the van into Ackelbein’s Chevrolet Silverado, the CHP said. They then drove away to a local residence.

An investigation ensued, and with help from a local resident the CHP located the Silverado. A search warrant was issued at the home where the truck was parked in El Sobrante, resulting in the arrest of Ackelbein the day after the heist. He was booked on charges that include conspiracy, possession of stolen property and cargo theft.

Farmer, facing the same charges, was still on the lam and believed to be somewhere in West Contra Costa County.

Only one of the 71 packages were recovered, the CHP said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Contra Costa CHP in Martinez (925) 646-4980.