The Abbotsford Police handily caught a known offender with the help of the snow. The U-Haul being driven by a suspected “porch pirate” got stuck in a snow drift on Emerson Street on Dec. 20. (Abbotsford Police)

The Abbotsford Police handily caught a known offender with the help of the snow. The U-Haul being driven by a suspected “porch pirate” got stuck in a snow drift on Emerson Street on Dec. 20. (Abbotsford Police)

UPDATE: Abbotsford police catch ‘grinch,’ recover Amazon packages with the help of snowdrift

Suspect Russell Mayhew was caught driving stolen U-Haul thanks to tip from the public

A suspected Grinch was quite literally stopped in his tracks this week in Abbotsford.

A U-Haul cube van got stuck in a snowdrift on Emerson Street on Tuesday evening, and Abbotsford Police were able to arrest a suspected “porch pirate.”

They announced the capture on Twitter, calling it “a true Canadian Police chase.”

An officer’s account stated that the suspect got stuck in the snow, allowing them to quickly be arrested.

“Known offender/suspected porch pirate in custody facing multiple charges,” the tweet continued, with the hashtag “grinch.”

“Porch pirate” is a term some are using to describe those who steal deliveries from front doors.

The suspect was first noticed cutting the locks off a parked U-Haul truck near Marshall Road and Emerson Street by “an observant citizen,” the department said later in a news release. That person then contacted the APD via their social media channels.

Police responded immediately and were able to catch him despite — and with the help of — the accumulated snow on the roads.

They arrested Russell Mayhew, a 36-year-old known offender on the scene after he got stuck in a snowbank. He is now facing numerous charges, including flight from police, wilfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer, breach of undertaking and driving while disqualified.

There were several Amazon packages in the vehicle that were not addressed to Mayhew, and police assume they were stolen by the suspect.

Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr also sent out a message on Twitter regarding the arrest.

“Great work by patrol in difficult weather conditions,” he said. “They have been going over and above these past few days. I’m glad to see this porch

pirate in custody – hopefully for a while. A true grinch, wrecking Christmas for those waiting for packages.”

On Thursday, the department said they welcome reports of suspicious activity by the public.

“We are stronger together in stopping and preventing crime and getting offenders into custody,” said Cst. Art Stele. “We wish everyone a safe and joy-filled holiday season as we diligently patrol and work together to keep our community safe.”

READ MORE: Pedestrian struck in Abbotsford hit-and-run dies two days later


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The Abbotsford Police handily caught a known offender with the help of the snow. The U-Haul being driven by a suspected “porch pirate” got stuck in a snow drift on Emerson Street on Dec. 20. (Abbotsford Police/Twitter)

The Abbotsford Police handily caught a known offender with the help of the snow. The U-Haul being driven by a suspected “porch pirate” got stuck in a snow drift on Emerson Street on Dec. 20. (Abbotsford Police/Twitter)