Rescue Crews Search for Alleged Package Thief in Modesto’s Dry Creek

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MODESTO--

Search crews drove boats up and down Dry Creek in Modesto Wednesday morning in an attempt to find a woman who they said swiped a package from a front porch then ran away from officers toward the fast moving water.

The Modesto Police Department emphasized that they did not chase the woman.

The search was a challenge for crews who navigated through the murky brown creek.

"We have a lot more debris in the creek at this time, you know, stuff has been washed off shore making them a lot more dangerous,” said Alan Ernst, the operations divisions chief with the Modesto Fire Department.

The Modesto Police Department told FOX40 the woman and her accomplice, who they only described as a man, were caught by a neighbor stealing a package from a front porch on State Street.

Police said the couple ran toward nearby Moose Park after the alleged theft.

“We got into the park and noticed a group of individuals sitting nearby. A couple of them matched the description of the suspects of the theft,” Heather Graves, a spokeswoman with the Modesto Police Department said.

Graves emphasized that officers did not chase them, but the couple took off anyway. The woman ran through the creek.

"A couple minutes later,  a witness came back by and said that there was a woman inside the creek that had asked her if it was clear,” she said.

Crews from both the Modesto and Ceres fire departments spent the next few hours searching for the suspect by boat and waded through watery corners.

Modesto police officers also searched the park but did not find her.

"We don’t have any evidence that states that she didn’t make it out on her own or still in the water,” Ernst said.

Despite the setback, there’s some good news, the package that was stolen was actually found.

"Actually the owner did retrieve it back, so a theft didn’t actually occur, so that was good,” Graves said.

The woman is described as in her 30s and wore a gray hoodie and blue jeans.