Police may be close to solving dozens of delivery parcels heist cases

An Alabama man who trash-canned at least 60 packages at a FedEx depot may be the person behind at least six other incidents at FedEx facilities in the state in the past year, the…

Police may be close to solving dozens of delivery parcels heist cases

An Alabama man who trash-canned at least 60 packages at a FedEx depot may be the person behind at least six other incidents at FedEx facilities in the state in the past year, the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office said.

Authorities said they first identified the man as Derrick Barksdale, a 46-year-old custodian, around Aug. 20, and noted an uptick in suspicious packages at the cargo center he worked at in Mobile around the same time.

“There were always broken shipping containers in the yard, where freight would be dropped off. At various times someone would come and drop a broken box, sometimes 35 pounds or more,” Mobile County Sheriff’s Deputy Lori Myles told WKRG.

Investigators said surveillance footage showed an adult man dropping off packages that morning, leading them to arrest him after he got off work. Authorities released video of the alleged suspect, who confessed to about six crimes.

“They told me I was crazy,” Barksdale said. “I’m not sure what set off their alarm system but I’m not sure what set off mine.”

He told authorities that he’d tossed packages into a ravine and discarded them at several locations around the warehouse.

He told the sheriff’s office he believes he may have been recording the acts, as can be seen in surveillance footage of two actions when he first appeared to dump packages outside the warehouse.

Authorities said someone can be seen in an adjacent camera watching Barksdale through a large visor, visible through the roof, as he tosses a bunch of packages.

“He was startled. One package smashed through his perch into the woods,” Myles said, referring to the same surveillance footage.

Sheriff’s deputies said Barksdale told them he threw small packages, such as greeting cards, out a door at the back of the building before dumping larger items into a hole in the ground.

Barksdale said he targeted FedEx because he had been fired from UPS in 2014.

Authorities confirmed that he worked at the facility for about seven years and first broke codes by emptying bundles of packages at night.

“People have a right to leave trash in places like a landfill,” Barksdale said. “I was playing around. I was a funny guy, saying, ‘Hey, you got that?’ I’m over 70 now and it takes a lot more to scare me.”

Al Sherrod, a FedEx spokesman, said the company was working with authorities to identify anyone else who may have stolen packages.

“We do have a robust security and surveillance program at our facilities, and we routinely remind our employees that it is their responsibility to check all packages for the proper shipping information,” Sherrod said.

Myles said authorities have identified only seven people who could be connected to the incidents and questioned several more as part of the probe.

The DNA from the Oklahoma man’s beaker has been tested, Myles said, and forensics found that the genetic material that matched it had also been found in devices seized from other suspects.

Sherrod said there had been about 50 incidents at the facilities in the area in the past two years.

Federal prosecutors have accused Barksdale of trafficking in stolen goods, and he told the police that he sold some of his stolen goods to his family.

“I enjoyed living off of these goods to buy food and all my expenses and all my bills,” he said.

Barksdale is set to appear in court Tuesday.

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