Video: Girl, 8, accused of taking packages from neighbors' doorsteps

Clermont police investigate string of package thefts

Published On: Dec 19 2012 05:54:00 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 20 2012 10:55:59 AM EST
stealing present
CLERMONT, Fla. -

Authorities say an 8-year-old girl caught on camera stealing a package off the doorstep of her Clermont neighbor's home has prompted an investigation into a string of thefts.

When residents on Briar Run Drive noticed the missing packages, Tim Lebede told Local 6 he put a camera in his office window and another neighbor put decoy packages on their front porch to catch the culprit.

The video shows a child taking the boxes off the doorstep.

"Nobody would ever question a little girl walking around the neighborhood with packages in her hand," said Lebede.

Jessia Araujo runs a small business from her home and says she constantly receives packages for her online store. She said since September, she has had packages with more than $1,000 worth of merchandise vanish.

"We just thought maybe it just didn't get here it (or it) got lost, "she said. "Never did we ever dream someone was taking them off our porch."

She said once they caught a child on camera taking the planted box, she called police. 

Clermont police said some stolen items were found at an abandoned house.

Local 6 tried to speak to the 8-year-old's parents but received no response.

"We want there to be some kind of discipline action in the form of trying to curb her behavioral problems right now," one neighbor told Local 6.

Another neighbor says the child's parents should be held accountable.

"That will make them understand that their children's actions are part of them and,  until they're 18, you have to take care of them," the neighbor said.

Clermont police say they will be forwarding the information to the juvenile division of the Florida state attorney's office.

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Neighbors told Local 6 that they haven't received the packages back that were taken from them.