Porch pirate dad used 5-year-old daughter to steal package from porch

BELAIR, Md. — It was a shocking video of a little girl swiping a package from someone else’s porch.

Police identify the adult they believe directed the little girl to steal.

Harford County deputies said it was the little girl’s father who was directing her to steal a package that did not belong to her.

Police need your help to find him.

The video showed a child so innocent, appeared to look back for direction right before she snatched a package from a porch then ran away.

Police have announced it was her father, 46-year-old Gary Smith, who told the little girl to take something that didn’t belong to her.

“I don’t even have the right words to describe how that is,” said Sheriff Jeffery Gahler. “He’s still being charged with theft, he knew the property was taken unlawfully whether he did it himself or the 5 year old removed it.”

A home security camera captured the November 30 incident in Inez Court in Bel Air, where a pair of boots was in the box. The homeowner couldn’t believe what she saw.

“Definitely shocked that it was such a small child coming up to my front door and running away with my package,” said Vallan Hardison.

Neighbors said they’re concerned for the little girl.

“It was quite shocking and I think what really shocked us is the little girl and the little hat and the whole premise of a parent that would allows that to happen was it was incorrigible,” said Carole Doetseh, a neighbor.

After the video was posted on Facebook, someone recognized the little girl and tipped off police.

Early in the investigation, deputies said the father tried to distance himself from the crime.

He’s now missing, so they’re looking for the dad they believe set a bad example.

“I hope that little girl understands that she has no blame in this whatsoever,” Gahler said.

Porch pirates go into overdrive this time of year before the holidays.

The department said some even follow deliver trucks around.

As for this 46-year-old father, anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to call the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.

Once caught, he will be charged with theft under $100, conspiracy to commit theft, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and fourth-degree burglary.

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