Good old fashioned police work and the current trend of front porch surveillance cameras helped DeSoto police find a suspected serial package thief.
Cecil Chinn had just installed a camera the week before a very special package was stolen off the door step of his DeSoto Home.
"When he ran up and grab the box, I was so shocked and stunned, I forgot to hit the alarm or activate the voice on there,” Chinn said.
Chinn has been caring for his niece's seven-year-old daughter Gabby, as her mother, a sergeant in the Army, serves overseas.
Inside the stolen box was a little doll from Gabby's mother who's stationed in Egypt. The package was stolen the day before Gabby's 8th birthday, Nov. 29.
"We told her,” Chinn said. "She started crying, because that was from her mom. She gave her mom a list of things that she wanted for her birthday you know, and that doll was on the top of the list.">>
But the next morning, DeSoto police were knocking on Chinn’s door.
Alert patrol officers found a bunch of opened boxes in a nearby alleyway and one addressed to Gabby. Police used Chinn's surveillance video and other neighbors volunteered theirs to quickly piece together who they were looking for. He used the same vehicle, the same red-soled shoe and had the same M.O. each time.
Police arrested Christopher Anderson, 21, in the vehicle they were looking for and found dozens of stolen items inside.
"We were actually able to recover that doll and give it back to her on the day of her birthday, so it was pretty special for her,” said DeSoto PD Det. Javier Acosta.
Chinn said it was an emotional moment when the package was returned.
"She even started crying you know? I hit my heart you know. My hat is off to De Soto Police Department -- my hat is off to those guys,” Chinn said.
When the tears of joy dried, Gabby sent this message to the Desoto Police Department:
"Thank you for finding my American doll and please, please, put that boy in jail. And please tell him to please say sorry to me and have a great day!"