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’Tis the season, unfortunately, for thieves targeting delivery packages left on residents’ front porches, but Amherst police hope they’ve made a dent in those thefts.

With the help of an alert neighbor and a K-9 dog, Amherst police arrested two 20-year-old Buffalo men believed to be responsible for several such recent thefts in Snyder.

After arresting the two, one of whom was found hiding under the deck of a home several blocks away, police say they’ve identified seven theft victims from the packages found in their minivan.

Police charged Shaquille Holman, 20, of Watson Street, and Ezekiel Polite, 20, of Deerfield Avenue, with criminal possession of stolen property and petit larceny, among other charges.

A Walton Drive resident called Amherst police at about 2:20 p.m. Monday after seeing someone run onto a neighbor’s porch and take a couple of packages, authorities said. The resident gave police the description of the vehicle, a greenish blue minivan.

Officer Greg Sauers stopped a vehicle fitting that description on Harlem Road and spotted some packages in the vehicle, police said. As the officer talked with the passenger, the driver, later identified as Holman, fled, police said. The passenger, Polite, struggled with officers before being taken into custody, according to police reports.

K-9 Officer Tom Grillo, with his dog, Addy, tracked the fleeing driver and found him under a wooden deck in the 300 block of Washington Highway, about eight blocks west of the original call. All but a tiny portion of the area beneath the deck was covered by lattice work. “You look at this deck, and you think no one’s getting under there,” Capt. David R. Hoy said. “If it hadn’t been for the K-9 handler and his partner, it would have been very difficult to find him.”

Besides the stolen-property and petit-larceny charges, Holman faces charges of criminal trespass and aggravated unlicensed operation, police said. Polite also was charged with obstruction of governmental administration.

email: gwarner@buffnews.com