Package thief caught after stealing box of rocks from Haslet homeowner

- A Haslet homeowner fed up with package thieves decided to leave a box of rocks with a very direct note inside — and the thieves stole it.

The surveillance video was shared by residents here on social media. Some thought one homeowner's clever plan to catch a porch thief was a pretty good idea.

After worrying about thieves snagging his doorstep packages, a Haslet homeowner figured why not just give them one.

“If someone's going to steal a package, I'm just going to put a box of rocks on my porch,” the homeowner said who did not want his face shown. “That way at least if they steal it, they don't know what's in it so it's still a theft."

Sure enough, his security cameras caught two men last Monday. They spotted the bait box, looked around and even saw the cameras pointed at them. Eventually, they picked up the box of rocks and walked off with it.

"They were rocks that were in the ground that I was digging up to prepare a sprinkler head,” the homeowner said.

Fort Worth Police posted the surveillance video on social media to try to identify the so-called 'porch pirates.’

"Once the suspects open the package, they realized that they'd been had, so to speak,” said Buddy Calzada with the Fort Worth Police Department. “And they actually returned the package the following day."

But here's where the pirates didn't quite think through the plan. Inside the returned box was a note apologizing for the theft and saying it was a mistake. At the bottom of the note was a name and the suspect's own personal phone number.

Police say the name on the note was fake. But after detectives called the number, the man seen returning the box is now charged with theft. Detectives are still looking for the other man in the video who took the package.

"A fake name does not work when you have a real phone number,” Calzada said. “And the thing that people forget a lot of times is that we are the police. It's not like we're doing a Google search or something like that. We have all the tools necessary, especially our detectives, to be able to track down suspects."

Neighbor Brian Morrow was shocked and hopes the porch pirates are gone for good.

"Stupid is as stupid does,” he said. “It was kind of surprising that someone was as brazen as that to just step up and come onto your front porch and just take it."

"If that's all that happens, that's fine,” the homeowner said. “That was my intention just don't steal from my house."

Since the theft charge is based on the value of the item stolen, his theft charge is a Class C misdemeanor for the box of rocks.

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