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'Porch pirate' steals children's Christmas gifts off porch

Courtesy: Mark Osborne

SHERWOOD, Ark. (KATV) -- The holidays are known as the season for giving, but for porch pirates, it's the season for taking.

Homeowner Jennifer Garrett tells KATV she got a message her children's Christmas gifts were delivered Thursday afternoon, but when she got home, nothing was there.

It wasn't until she checked her security footage that she realized what happened

"He nonchalantly parked his car, had some trouble getting his door open, slowly made his way to the front porch and left."

Security footage shows a man in a dark colored SUV drove by her home once, came back, pulled in her driveway and took the stack of gifts.

"They weren't things for me, they were for my children," Garrett's fiance Mark Osborne said. "When people take from your children, it makes you really angry."

Osborne called police and took to Facebook to spread the word.

His post with the security footage was shared more than 400 times.

"We started receiving messages from people saying they knew who it was," Osborne said.

If it wasn't for their security cameras, the homeowners say they would have never found out what happened to their delivery.

"I think having your neighbors watch for you and everyone keeping an eye out as well as keeping cameras are the main things," Osborne said.

While the couple is doubtful they will get their packages back, Garrett says they just want their neighbors to be on alert.

"As long as it prevents it from happening to someone else, that's a big deal to us," she said.

The couple tells KATV that police believe they know the man who took the packages, but he has not yet been arrested.

This Monday, the U.S. Attorney's office is hosting a press conference to announce a joint initiative called Operation Porch Pirate.

The U.S. Postal Service and Little Rock police will work together to prosecute mail thieves.

For tips on how to prevent package theft, click here.

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