NEW ORLEANS -- Nowadays delivery theft has become all too common and that's why many have turned to install security cameras for protection, but when a Mid-City woman caught her package thief, she was baffled by how young he was and where he came from. And as WWL-TV's Jacqueline Quynh found out, she not only found him, but ended up getting an unexpected apology.
Our story begins with a teacup, it's a wedding gift for Laura Jean Hyde who lives in Mid-City.
"I'm very into Halloween. I'm having a Halloween wedding, it's a Great Gatsby theme so the colors are black and gold," said Hyde.
Its value may be about $100 but it meant more than that.
"My friend was really excited to give it to me," she said.
It was supposed to arrive at Hyde's home September 26th, and it did. But before Hyde could get to it, a young thief beat her to it, and it was caught on camera.
"I was out of town, I called police," she said.
She then filed a report, but couldn't stop deliveries for another package that arrived on the 29th, again the same thing happened.
"It was a kid coming on to my porch opening the gate and taking the packages without a problem."
She was stunned, the child appeared so young. Turns out he was just 8 years old.
Later that week she's talking with a neighbor outside when all of a sudden a child and his mother walks by, and she recognizes him.
"That was him," Hyde said.
She followed where they went, and because she didn't feel she had a lot of time to get all her stuff back, she did the neighborly thing, and came to the house and approached the mom delicately.
"I said I believe I have footage of your son, can you please watch this taking stuff from my house, and she watched over and over again and called him out. It was a scene."
She was able to get the cup, but not the down comforter she ordered. The mom offered to pay Hyde back, and the boy apologized.
Now it didn't stop there. The young child actually came to help her with a garage sale last Saturday to make amends.
"He clicked with me," Hyde said.
Hyde thinks the child might have been pushed by other kids to take her stuff. This time she's willing to forgive and wants to help her new friend find a youth program so he stays out of trouble.
"If I can help this 8-year-old child's life become better, maybe that's why this all happened," Hyde said.
It was all very unexpected, and it could somehow be another gift in disguise.
With all that said, Hyde has requested all packages be held at the post office for pick-up and she hopes one day she and her neighbors can get deliveries without fear of theft.
Jacqueline Quynh can be reached at email@example.com.