A Maryland man is being accused of forcing his five-year-old daughter to steal a package from a neighbor’s porch last month. Police have issued an arrest warrant for Gary Martin Smith, 46, who originally blamed his daughter for the November 30 theft in Bel Air, Md.
“Even if it was, on the outside thought, her idea, that’s where we as adults are supposed to raise our children properly, say that’s not the right thing to do, that’s someone else’s property,” Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said. “Personally I don’t believe that for one solitary second… I hope that little girl understands that she has no blame in this whatsoever.”
The Harford County Sheriff’s Office shared a video of the incident, which was caught on an outdoor surveillance camera, to their Facebook page after being notified on December 2. The clip shows the young girl running into the yard before stopping to look back and receive directions from an unpictured person. She then continues running up to the doorstep, where she swipes the package.
“Definitely shocked that it was such a small child coming up to my front door and running away with my package,” said homeowner Vallan Hardison, who revealed that the package contained a pair of boots.
Since posting the video, authorities were able to identify Smith as the “Porch Pirate” and are charging the Abingdon father with “theft under $100, conspiracy to commit theft, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and fourth-degree burglary.”
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
In the Facebook post, the sheriff’s office also offers words of advice for staying safe during the holidays: “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!”