A Maryland dad is being accused of using his 5-year-old daughter to swipe a package off a resident’s front porch.
A home security camera captured the shocking moment a little girl appeared to look back for guidance right before she grabbed a package from a stranger’s front yard and then ran away.
The Harford County Sheriff’s Office believes the girl was being forced to steal. The department wrote on its Facebook page:
Watch as this young girl, no older than 8, runs into a yard, looks back to get directions, then steals a package from a porch!
Who uses a child in this manner?
Watch the video below:
1/4 UPDATE:Thank you for your shares, Gary Smith is in custody. Baltimore County Police Department arrested him on our warrant on 1/1. He was transported to the Detention Center on 1/4 and is being held pending bail review.————————————-12/19 UPDATEThank you everyone for your shares, the suspect encouraging the child to steal the package has been identified as Gary Martin Smith. His photo is under the comments on this post. He is currently wanted. If you know where he is, call 410-838-6600.————————————–ORIGINAL POSTWe always warn you about package Grinches this time of year, but it’s hard to believe that a Grinch decided to use Cindy Lou Who this year to steal packages! Watch as this young girl, no older than 8, runs into a yard, looks back to get directions, then steals a package from a porch! Who uses a child in this manner?! Please be aware of your surroundings, look for suspicious activity in your neighborhood, and have packages delivered to a safe and secure location if you can! Remember, if you see something suspicious, call us!This incident happened on November 30 around noon in the 400 block of Inez Court in Bel Air. If you saw something suspicious around that time frame please call Deputy Matthew Turner at 410-612-1717.
Posted by Harford County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, December 6, 2018
Maj. William Davis told WJZ the girl looked “hesitant to do it.” He explained:
“It is painfully obvious that someone is directing them.”
Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler told the Baltimore Sun that he felt sorry for the child. Gahler said:
“It’s heartbreaking enough to know that people to turn to a life of crime, but when you see them raising their children into a life of crime, there are some serious issues with our society.”
The department warned people to watch out for “porch pirates” after:
A Grinch decided to use Cindy Lou Who this year to steal packages!
The victim of the theft, Vallan Hardison of Bel Air, Maryland, said she was surprised to discover that a 5-year-old would steal from her. She and her neighbors are concerned for the child.
Gahler told WJZ:
“I hope that little girl understands that she has no blame in this whatsoever.”
According to Fox News, an arrest warrant was issued for Gary Martin Smith, 46. The theft happened in broad daylight on November 30.
The dad has been charged with theft under $100, conspiracy to commit theft, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and fourth-degree burglary.
Authorities identified the Maryland resident in the alleged porch theft through an anonymous tip.