A delivery man contracted by Amazon was witnessed throwing packages into a Fort Worth dumpster.
Security camera footage released by the Tarrant County Sheriff's department shows a driver taking boxes from a white van and tossing them into a gas station dumpster near Eagle Mountain Lake.
The footage confirms what Eagle Mountain Lake Fire Chief Mike Barton witnessed last week.
"I could hear things flying in the dumpster," Barton said. "It looked like he was keeping some things and throwing away what he didn't want, instead of delivering them to someone's door."
Barton noticed the driver in a white van in his neighborhood acting suspiciously. He followed him and saw him throwing the boxes, which were all labeled with Amazon packing tape.
He and his colleague collected 25 boxes from three different locations, and they called the sheriff. They didn't go through the contents, but because the packages were ripped open they could see some items like nerf guns, toys and puzzles that appeared to be Christmas gifts that never made it to their destination.
"This is the delivery man, this isn't a thief walking down the street," said Barton. "Trust in the whole system is gone."
The Sheriff's Department launched an investigation and said today that they found the driver worked for a third-party company contracted by Amazon. They determined that no products were in fact taken from the packages, and Amazon is doing an internal review into the matter. The Sheriff Department's case is closed.
Amazon has aggressively expanded its own delivery operations, contracting with local delivery services. Recently, they announced plans that would allow their couriers to unlock the front door of customers to make deliveries.
Today, Amazon said they require contractors to perform background checks on their employees. Amazon released a statement to WFAA saying in part, "This individual is no longer delivering Amazon packages, and we will continue to work directly with customers to make things right."
Syliva Polk was one of the customers who was expecting a package that wound up discarded. WFAA shared a photo of her box with her.
"Very angry," she said. "The person that did this should definitely be dealt with."
Polk is a librarian in Fort Worth. She had ordered some place settings as Christmas gifts. She said when they didn't arrive at her home last week, she looked online and saw they were marked as unable to be delivered. Amazon has since given her a refund, but she may look for her replacement gift elsewhere.
"I thought it was just better to order online, because I didn't have to deal with the crowd," she said. "Look at how many people are not going to get their package. This is not good at all."