UPDATE 10:10 p.m.: Suspicious Activity Turns Out to Be Package Deliverer

UPDATE: See bottom of this post– this appears to have been a legitimate activity.

About 8:30 this evening, Melissa King who lives in a rural part of Benbow and her boyfriend had an unsettling experience. King explained that they watching TV in their front room when their dogs began barking wildly. To their surprise, she said, a man was standing inside the sunporch. He had apparently opened the outer door and come into their exterior room.

The man, who was not wearing a uniform, was holding a small package, King said.

“My boyfriend jumped up…and grabbed his gun from our bedroom,” King explained. While holding the gun where the other man could see it, her boyfriend indicated that the man should put the package on the ground, King said.

The man left the sunporch and got into the driver’s side of a maroon vehicle. (“Something like a hatchback or a small SUV,” King said her boyfriend told her.)

King’s boyfriend called 911. While he was doing that, King picked up her phone where she saw an email from this site with the story about the Ferndale armed robbery. The similarity of the vehicles struck her and she contacted us.

“Please let the community know so that everyone can be safe,” she said.  “We are on Blue Rock Rd in Benbow & we have neighbors pretty close so if seems that [he] didn’t care if about being noticed.”

King said that the package was one that they had ordered from Amazon and it might have been tucked in their mailbox like FedEx occasionally has done in the past.

The man who appeared inside their sunporch was of either Hispanic or Native American descent, according to King. “He was wearing a dark hoodie sweatshirt and had facial hair,” she said. She added that he was 5’8 or 5’9″ and had a thick build.

Though this might have been harmless, nonetheless please be extra cautious tonight.

UPDATE 10:10 p.m.: We appear to have an explanation. According to reader Lindsey Renner, this man may be an employee of OnTrac that delivers for Amazon. She wrote us,

I too encountered this same man and was very concerned. Our property is gated.It was about 8:15. He pulled up to the gate…[the dogs] began to freak out. We were alarmed at first, went to our bedroom as well, walked outside and as he pulled away, I noticed he had left a package I was expecting from Amazon.

I’m pretty positive the man works for [OnTrac] I think is the company but anyways some company that Amazon out sources deliveries too. …Anyways I believe that the man was actually working for some delivery service and legitimately trying to deliver Melissa [King] a package as well… This particular incident was harmless I think !



  • Check your delivery time when you track your package.

    • Many delivery drivers, including USPS will post the package as being delivered, as soon as they arrive in your area, before they do the rounds and actully deliver the packages.

  • OnTrac delivery service just hired a lot of people that don’t yet have uniforms and they use their own cars. Hopefully it was a real delivery. But with all the crazy stuff going on it is scary. Happy this couple is ok.

    • I had never heard of OnTrac but I noticed my packages being deviled not only by folks in plain clothes but driving their personal vehicles. Spoke with one of the delivery drivers who explained it to me.

      • I have had bad experiances with OnTrac. I met one head on coming out of my driveway in a beat up white van. Instead of stopping to say who he was, and why he was on my property, he drove thru my yard to get around me. Amazon needs to use reputable companys not gypos in ghetto cars smoking cigarettes all over my packages.

        • Us too.

          Last week one of their OnTrac drivers put a package behind a telephone pole 300 yards away from the numbered residence where it was supposed to go. The package went unnoticed for awhile. I took care of it and delivered it after a neighbor tipped me off.

          We got a package the next day from them. I was in the house and heard a loud boom and bang. It was a light package, I found out. It was obviously flung from some distance onto the porch to make that sort of racket. Looking at the package, it had been torn open on one end with the strapping tape broken.

      • This would be a good time to change that practice or one of their employees is gonna get hurt. Delivering later in the evening seems like a stupid choice too, i bet he wasnt a delivery guy at all. Who delivers in a hoodie???
        We’re (hopefully) heading back towards what we used to have, way better security culture. We opened up and look whats happened, no support from sheriff fir crimes so we have to take back our hills, protect them, and make sure thieves know what will happen to them.
        Stop people on your road and ask for credentials & where theyre going if you don’t recognize them. Years ago I had friends visit and complain about that practice and I explained to them that’s a way we can take care of our neighborhoods. My neighbor would very nicely, really,escort out certain cars full of dudes who knew no one on our road. That made me feel safe. It doesn’t matter if your a grower, there are lots of breakins all the time with no pot involved, like in arcata where no one can grow big anymore and there are a few gated communities.

        Who is this company?? I’m really tired of the no sign on the car plainclothes delivery folks. I won’t be ordering from amazon if this is who theyre using, maybe others should do the same or at least contact amazon.
        Who’s to say folks aren’t stealing packages and then acting like delivery people to scope out people’s houses. Theres some super crazy stuff going on where seemingly seasoned criminals are scoping neighborhoods. San Fran crime is off the charts so I assume many criminals are coming up here, we are easy pickings comparatively. So please do question anyone suspicious, if they are on the up and up they’ll understand and you’ll be able to see how jumpy they are. The folks who killed the guy in laytonville were dressed for the part as hippie hipster types, the edm scene folks have that look, loads of drugs in that scene so watch out!!! Biggest rip off of my life was by a dj in that scene, watch out.

        • That is my boyfriend that you guys are talking about that just got hired on with on track we asked if we could get some shrits. The company is in the prosess of fixing what one of the managers made a mess of , we live in a small town so things like this will happen , he is a real delivery guy and a great father to my 9 month old baby boy so for you that are saying stuff like he better watch out before he gets hurt , well maybe dont order any packages if you dont want them deliverd to your dam house !

          • Previous “manager” actually a Contractor was the best one this area has ever had. On Trac “the company” are the ones who messed up the entire Humboldt area due to their ignorance of the area. Your attitude is not considered a good one if you or your family expects to have a good working relationship with your customers. If they stop ordering, then you would not have a job! In all fairness to you and your husband, On Trac should have provided you with magnets for your vehicle and shirts & hat to start you out on this job. Be careful out there!

            • Yes and we asked the second day of work and i call our boss today and said i am reading all these comments and alot of them are about needing a uniform so he needs one everything is in the prosses of trying to be fixed , and no your right probably not a good adittude to have and im sorry its just scary when my husband is out there just trying to do his job the way his boss told him to and this all happends it gets me upset and on edge because he has a baby he needs to come home to. In my opinon almost nothing is professional around this area even when i was working with the state in mendocino county was not professional i am from arizona where none of this stuff happends the jobs are professional so i get where people are comming from about how late he delivers but he dosnt start till 12 or sometimes 1 and has to go to redcerst and legget area all down the 101 it takes time and then come home just to change and go to his night job

  • Lol, Paranoid drug dealers.
    Town full of criminal idiots.

    • Actually these two people are hard working folk with legitimate jobs. They may be paranoid because the business down the street got robbed the night before. Theres rules in the country, like announcing your presence before you get to the front door. I live in what looks like a duplex, when i find a random person on my stairs i freak out! Because there in my house!

    • Yes waste of good journalism space. I would never deliver to that address again if I was that delivery company. No wonder a lot a businesses refuse to deliver off-highway after dark.

    • [edit] There are literally thousands of folks who work hard and don’t do any substances. There are still people living in safe neighborhoods where everyone knows each other & who don’t bolt their door up constantly. Maybe you forgot but a lot of folks left cities to get away from that. Wasn’t until late 90’s in arcata folks locked their doors.
      You can think so hum is awful but there are lots of awesome safe and caring hoods all over, folks committed to community.

      Maybe people forgot to read the news over the last week but the crazy switch got flipped, there have been armed robberies at winco, benbow inn, gas stations, stabbing outside arcata coop, kids trying to blow up their high school rally and some instances we don’t even know what happened at Kmart mckinleyville and arcata safeway.
      I’d say it’s a good time to be a bit paranoid, if you value your life and your family’s.

  • What Ferndale armed robbery? And for God’s sake why would anyone leave anything, doors, etc, unlocked??? For fucks sake, lock everything!!!

      • Lindsey is Chris renners offspring. Small world.

        • First, I’m not sure what your comment is even trying to imply. Second, I’m not necessarily his offspring. He legally adopted me when he married my mother. Fortunately, there is no blood relation. I don’t support Chris. I don’t support my family that supports Chris and his disgusting and awful behavior. Chris was sentenced on Oct.20th for child sexual abuse charges. He is in San Quentin serving a deserved 12 yr sentence. I have supported the victim throughout the entire ordeal. Again, I’m not sure what “small world” is implying , but I certainly want to clarify I am not Chris Renner’s offspring. I’m not exactly sure what that has to do with OnTrac employees not following proper company protocol and putting my neighborhood on alert, but ok Crescent City.

  • I bet they scared the hell out of that delivery driver. Amazon is delivering packages with contracted drivers that drive unmarked civilian vehicles. I had a package arrive yesterday(Sunday) at about 4pm. The driver was in plain clothes and driving an older 2wd Toyota pickup. Here’s a screenshot of the security video linked… smh at paranoid people with guns


    • Thankyou and he did not walk in there house he figured he would want the packege on his pourch witch happend to be in there arizona room , and we dont get the packges till 12:00 or like today he didnt get to start till 1:30 he does his best with what he has and tries to get your packeges on time that day

  • A friend used to deliver for Fed-Ex. Since she lived far from her pick up point her deliveries that were on her way home they allowed her to deliver in her personal vehicle. It makes more since than driving their truck to her neighborhood only to drive back into town to pick up her car.

  • Our US Postal Service does not allow any materials put into our rural mail boxes except deliveries from the US Postal Service. Another box must be put up marked “All Others” which FedEx and UPS can use for packages.
    It’s my understanding that Fed-Ex and UPS can deliver packages to your mailbox or Post Office if sent via Amazon Prime, as the Prime service pays USPS for that service; otherwise, an “alternate address” must be provided for delivery, or the package picked up from a UPS or FedEx centre.
    I’ve met an ON-TRAC delivery person high-centered in a pot hole 4 miles up our 4WD road, without phone service. We talked after fixing the problem; and yes, ON-TRAC needs to add a training session in the art of the possible…or not. Poor soul just wanted to do a “first job” right. af

    • ONTrac is still hiring local drivers with little to no training and no uniforms. They have a sorting facility in Samoa and are only gong to get bigger, people should realize that not all deliverymen wear uniforms now…and most of these guys use their own rigs, not all have a sign to put on them…

      • Once a home owner shoots one of them, I guarantee that uniforms and signage on the vehicle will happen.

        • That brings up the question: should delivery drivers be armed and allowed to defend themselves and shoot back? Lets revisit the facts of this scenario that a legitimate driver for a legitimate company making a delivery of package that “victim” willfully ordered and should have had reasonable expectation of delivery. Just because recipients appear paranoid should driver with legitimate employment have a firearm pulled on them? SMH too.

          • I’m pretty sure typical protocol probably isn’t delivering packages of any sort after 8 pm. And the Benbow Inn was robbed at gunpoint with one shot fired only a couple days prior. That may explain any type of paranoia you may be referencing. However, it’s not necessarily like they were waiting with a firearm , or waiting or expecting anyone to enter their property. It more sounds like they were alarmed that someone was on their property and took the necessary precautions. But that’s just my opinion.

        • Once a home owner shoots a delivery guy how stupid will they look saying well officer the delivery guy wants waring a uniform even (though I was expecting a package and he had a package in his hand) cuz if anything happend to my husband best believe I’m right there making sure I’m taking every action I can for justice!

          • The On Trac Man that used to deliver to me at my previous residence , he had my phone number. He would call me before he came out to my property. If he was going to be late he would let me know. I’m pretty sure my phone number is attached to my amazon prime account. Your husband should maybe talk to your boss today about the possibility of contacting people before he comes up to their house, especially if he is running late. I know he’s new, and most of the properties are probably a little hard to find. I’m sure it will take him a little longer right now to get his packages out, and I’m sure he will get more familiar with the area. Maybe just try to call if it’s going to be after a Normal delivery time. I know that would help me as a customer a lot. If he’s running late, just give me a call and let me know to expect him after 8. I would be okay with that.

    • Ok.ONTrac should be told about the areas they may have to deliver to. And the fact that areas are growing and therefore HELLO. HEADS UP. I just hope no delivery person is hurt.
      Keep this conversation going and spread the word. Plus CONTACT ONTrac representative.Or your Amazon dealer -fed-ex -ups. reps and those in charge of dispatching drivers on their routes.

  • We to got one of these deliveries in Miranda, plain clothes guy in a beat up car at ten at night!There is no reason for them not to have a uniform and to be delivering to houses that late,that is not acceptable hours to be doing business. I too grabbed my gun and questioned the man that went back to his car and retrieved an Amazon package.Even after I found out what he was doing I was not happy about it, vehicle and clothing should be identifiable, and ten at night is too late to be approaching my house if I don’t know your coming!!

    • They are subcontractors, that company doesn’t have uniforms. What should they do, make up one? That would look even faker…They fill their cars and vans at 0600 in Samaa, sometimes it takes until after dark to get to all the far flung addresses. It gets dark at 5:30 pm now…

      • 10:00 pm is not 5:30. The company better get some uniforms and some kind of visible ID for their driver’s cars. Otherwise somebody is going to get shot. Not by me but by some tweeker on a binge or someone who is alone and scared.

  • Even 8 pm is too late. My children were sleeping. I’m pretty sure Fed ex and Ups never deliver past 8. At least not in my experience. Sounds like they need to load up sooner in Samoa . Also they clearly need to not enter any parts of any residence. Poor Mellissa and her boyfriend they must have been so alarmed. Glad they were prepared.

    • The Ostrich Hunter

      Yeah, good thing they got the drop on that dude who was delivering a package they ordered…sheesh.

      The Wild West mentality out here is legitimately alarming, but latenight deliveries? Not so much.

  • OnTrac deliveries all seem to be done in private vehicles by un-uniformed drivers. Most of mine in Mckinleyville come very late in the day. The rather shoddy tracking seems to indicate that the distribution center is Petaluma.

    It looks like OnTrac is using some sort of Uber-like strategy with contractors who must use their own vehicles.

  • I have to admit I have been a little too paranoid after the Benbow Inn incident and other robberies . When I made my husband go up to the gate, and he found the Amazon package, he thought it was pretty funny. Hey better to be safe then sorry right ;)) no harm in being prepared in my book !

  • I had a guy come to my door about 7:30 pm two nights ago. He was looking for a certain address (not mine) and he said he had a couple packages to deliver. No uniform and unmarked car. I thought it was strange, so when he left I noted his license plate number. I guess it was just a delivery from Amazon?

  • It is an invasion of expected privacy to show at any house after 8pm that’s why most companies won’t . If your going to approach a house at night you had best be wearing something identifiable and make a phone call to the residence to assure you re being expected . It is well within the normal (dope grower or not ) to meet someone at the door with a gun if you don’t know them . That’s not paranoia that’s personal safety routine. Everyone should have a shotty near the door just for this purpose .also that on trac guy in the blue sedan is freaking creepy . He gets out and walks around your house before he delivers any package . He has been know to walk past gates and all. These on trac people need to consult fed ex or ups on normal civil protocol.
    As for everyone who basically said you have nothing to worry about , how bout you just leave all your doors open and don’t question anyone who approaches at 10pm. They must be all right , right? You will go the way of the dodo bird if you keep up that logic .

  • Wow! People are stupidly paranoid. Its only a matter of time before some fool shoots a delivery person! Here’s a genius solution- Do Not Provide Your Rural Home Address! Get a delivery address in town and use that for your online shopping needs. Why are you providing your sketchy home address and then getting uptight over deliveries? Because you are sketchy. And stupid.

    • If you lived in a remote area, you would know it is extremely uncommon for someone to show up at your home late at night without notice. As in it hasn’t happened in over 10 years at my home. If someone then walked into your sunroom….? I think even the most sanguine person would be startled.

      • I do live very remote, in a place where I value my privacy. I have a box in town for a delivery address. I go into town to pick up my packages! If you supply your home address to a delivery company then you are at their mercy. That is basic logic. If you live a lifestyle where you expect you might get robbed…then it’s setting up a troublesome situation. I consider that stupid and quite unprofessional.

        • The folks who were the people involved last night both have “straight” jobs. Melissa is the Senior Center director. (I assume you are assuming all the people concerned grow marijuana unless you are talking about living in a rural area being a lifestyle that might lead to you getting robbed?) We’ve been programed by millions of years of genetics to assume that something that is out of the ordinary could be dangerous. Delivery folk usually wear uniforms, drive marked vehicles and don’t open your front door. That people are alarmed when someone breaks all those rules seems natural.

          • Kym, it seems pretty basic to me. Just because Farce Face picks up his packages in town doesn’t mean everybody should. I happen to also pick up my packages in town but just this week some idiot PGE person drove up to my house (Down a dirt driveway about 3/4 mile long) and opened my unlocked gate to turn around. I don’t even have PGE. Another time somebody in the middle of the night drove down my driveway. I almost shot them. Other delivery people have driven down my driveway to deliver to the wrong house. And how can anybody say it is ok for a delivery person with no obvious delivery person ID to deliver packages at 10:00 pm or 8:00 pm? “It’s A Farce” is not able to think. I wonder what time he thinks is ok for a delivery person with no obvious delivery person ID to deliver packages. Obviously 10:00 pm is ok. Is 1:00 am ok? 4:00 am? It is truly mind boggling how stupid some people are.

  • I had one of these contractors come to my house also. I’m a woman living alone and I was suspicious. No type of identifying delivery signs or clothing. This guy is in danger showing up to rural properties like this in the middle of the night.

  • Complain to Amazon. Tell them you will not order from them if the are going to have their packages delivered at 8:00 pm and by people who drive unmarked cars and not wearing a uniform.
    It seems like the only way to complain or even contact Amazon is through Facebook or Twitter. That is ok because then everybody can see your complaint and when Amazon sees it they will want to get the problem fixed fast. I am sure that many many people on Facebook and Twitter will be alarmed to know that plainclothes delivery drivers driving old beat up cars will be knocking on their door at 10:00 pm to deliver their crap.

  • OnTrac sorts local deliveries in a parking lot on Barnett Road off Evergreen. It is easy to see the drivers are people who are at the beginning–or restarting–their working lives, and I respect that. The company is clearly not helping them out with anything material (signage, uniforms) or the intangibles like training. From the customer point of view, training is the most needed, although the pressure of a piecework job with a tight delivery promise date may trump what drivers know to be the best practice or their own safety. I’ve had a few deliveries go awry, but I know the fault lies with a company that is squeezing its “contractors” mercilessly to suck up to the big online retailers.

  • They better get those people in uniforms ASAP and at least put a magnetic sign on their vehicles before one of them gets shot. This isn’t the burbs.

    • Yeah and at that point the shooter would be the one to get intruble. Gun rights are to protect your self and family , not to shoot and ask questions later to someone doing there job.

  • How soon before someone out to do harm knocks on your door pretending to be the OnTrac delivery person?

    • Me too, Gunther. Just reading Kym’s blog is enough for me to know how vulnerable we can be. It has nothing to do with whether one grows cannabis or not; there are some serious, dangerous, armed thieves around. These poor delivery folks are in a precarious situation, and don’t know it.

  • As a Subcontractor for OnTrac. I believe that customers should have an idea of what should be expected of your delivery drivers. First an for most your delivery driver is required to have an ID badge with their picture on it, a uniform that consists of a official OnTac logo shirt, khaki pants, brown or black shoes, (logo hats an jackets also available). A subcontractor is to supply his/her own VAN (white) company has logos or wraps available to place on vans to identify company.
    Your delivery driver should have all this after they have had a background check an a signed contract with OnTrac!
    I wonder if your area is being ran officially with the safety measures OnTrac should have in place!
    Personally I take pride in my work an believe others should do the same.

    • Thank you, Toni. The 2 delivery people we’ve seen up here had none of this ID. af

      • Wow!! That’s so unsafe for you the customer an for the delivery drivers in your area!!
        OnTrac does have a Facebook page even if it’s not for your area it may be helpful?

    • The On-trac driver that most recently came by my house in Mckinleyville was a pleasant woman, but with no uniform or On-trac shirt, driving a station wagon with no signage. I think On-trac up here is being very lax.

  • Do we get to choose which delivery service we use, or do they choose for us?
    I agree, they need to respect time, ID, & logos. I am thrilled for the employees who landed a job, but please hold off until verifiable k.

    • If you are using Amazon Prime, Amazon somehow chooses. I hate it when On-trac is the choice. Their tracking is really poor. I’ve had items indicated as delivered when I hadn’t gotten them yet. Or the city indicated as Petaluma when it’s “Out for delivery”

  • do they get hazardous dutie pay ?

  • We had two packages delivered at the same time by On-Trac last week. They threw the packages onto our wet lawn, no attempt to deliver up onto our porch. We were home at the time and would have answered the door. I found the packages when I went to get the mail. We are in a residential area and anyone walking by could have seen and picked up the packages. As far as I know this is the first time we have had an Amazon package delivered by this company. Absolutely not impressed. We did register a complaint with On-Trac.

  • I’m pretty sure OnTrack only does overnight deliveries. If you live in the middle of bum-fuck no where how do you honestly expect the world to get you your item early in the day? This is rural Humboldt people! If you are so paranoid that you can’t have them show up late there’s a simple fix, don’t have things brought to your house via overnight delivery. It’s ridiculous that these delivery people, who already need to drive their own cars and probably aren’t paid very well, also need to fear for their lives while they do their job. Business or no I hope Amazon has a policy that anyone who brandishes a gun is never delivered to again. Their three dollar item isn’t worth it. Oh and as far as training, how easy is it for a company to find a good employee who will work for less than trimmer wages anyway? I hope legalization helps mediate some of this madness. The rest of the mad can just go to a store when they need something.

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