SPRINGFIELD -- The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office saved Christmas for a few families Tuesday when a team of porch pirates was arrested. Several packages were recovered and returned to their owners.
The traffic unit became aware of a video circulating from a Ring doorbell camera. The video showed a white male with long blonde hair taking a package off a porch and running back to a car. The vehicle, a 2007 Honda Accord, was shown driving away from the house.
Later that day, Deputy John Morris spotted the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. The driver, 23-year-old Mariah Harley, admitted to her involvement in the thefts and was subsequently arrested.
During the investigation, Morris discovered that the person who was spotted Monday, running from the house, 22- year-old John Maddox, had already been arrested on an unrelated warrant.
In total, four people were involved. Maddox and Harley will be charged with several counts of theft by taking, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. A third person, 27-year-old Angel Standbury, will be charged with party to a crime, and the fourth person involved is a juvenile.
During this busy time of year, criminals will try to take full advantage. If you’re ordering your gifts online, consider trying to be home when they are slated for delivery or asking a friend or relative to pick your packages up to keep them safe until your return.
If you see suspicious activity, call 912-754-3449. or text a tip anonymously at 847411.