After a number of packages were stolen in a Florida neighborhood this holiday season, residents set up a sting operation and caught the alleged culprit on video: and 8-year-old girl.
That such a young girl would be caught on video stealing the packages has come as a shock to residents of Clermont, Fla.
"Complete and utter shock it wasn't a teenage boy; it wasn't a passer-by -- it was an 8-year-old child. One year younger than my daughter,” resident Thalia Araujo, who set up a sting and photographed the girl, told CBS 12.
Decoy packages were placed on neighbors’ doorsteps in an attempt to identify the thief.
Another resident, Tim Lebede set up a video camera in his office that uncovered an 8-year-old girl running off with the packages left in the front of homes in Foxchase, a subdivision of Clermont.
"Nobody would ever question a little girl walking around the neighborhood with packages in her hand," Lebede told WKMG.
Some residents said they had a number of packages stolen from their doorsteps, including Araujo, who said at least $305 in packages was taken from her.
After neighbors went to police and identified the girl on video caught stealing the packages, officers spoke to the youth, who initially denied being the culprit, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
The girl later admitted to stealing one packaged and claimed she committed the theft because another girl dared her to, the newspaper reported.
The packages contained items such as Barbie dolls, children’s makeup and children’s cellphones, according to CBS 12.
One neighbor blamed the girl’s parents for her behavior.
"We want there to be some kind of discipline action in the form of trying to curb her behavioral problems right now," a neighbor told WKMG.
Another resident said the girl’s mother should be punished.
"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 person told the Florida news station.
WKMG reported that the missing packages have yet to be returned to their rightful owners.