Police in a Maryland county are warning people to have packages delivered to a safe location after security footage showed a young girl taking a box from the porch of a home.
According to police, on Nov. 30 in Bel Air, Md., a young girl was seen walking up to a porch and after a few seconds, can be seen walking away with a box in her hands. Just prior to going up to the porch, the girl can be seen looking behind her, appearing to take directions from someone off-camera, police say.
Police say they believe the girl was instructed to take the package.
The owner of the home, Vallan Hardison, said she was shocked to see the incident occur.
“Definitely shocked that it was such a small child coming up to my front door and running away with my package,” Hardison told CBS affiliate WJZ. “Not something I was expecting to see.”
Hardison said she had ordered a pair of boots, which were in the box that was taken.
Police said it appeared to be a girl, somewhere between the age of six and eight years old, who looked “hesitant” to do so.
Major William Davis said it was “painfully obvious” that someone was directing her.
“Either a parent or older person who’s directing the child to commit the theft … Which is pretty disturbing that we have people out there teaching kids at that young age that that’s the right thing to do,” Davis told WJZ.
“It’s hard to believe that a Grinch decided to use Cindy Lou Who this year to steal packages,” police added in a Facebook post which includes the security video footage.
Several people in the community say they’ve been caught off guard by the incident, with Hardison saying she was shocked and that others in the neighbourhood considered it “something serious.”
She said she couldn’t understand why her home was targeted.
“I guess, you know, they’re trying to do whatever they can to get the packages, you know,” she told Fox 6. “But it’s a little kid. Who’s going to think that a little kid is going to take packages? … An apology would be nice. Hopefully, this doesn’t happen to any more people.”
According to police, the theft of packages at this time of year is “a pretty regular thing.”
Davis said it’s something that happens in “all neighbourhoods” throughout the state and that people even allegedly follow delivery trucks around, waiting for a delivery before taking the package once the truck leaves.
Police say they are still investigating.
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