A man accused of stealing a package off a porch in south Charlotte was captured in cell phone photos taken by a quick-thinking neighbor.
The incident happened on Collingwood Drive the day before Thanksgiving.
A neighbor, who asked not to be identified, told WBTV that she spotted a man slowly moving through the neighborhood.
“A couple minutes later my dog alerted me. I looked out and it’s the same guy cutting through my yard,” said the neighbor.
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However, this time the man's hands were full. The neighbor said she noticed the man was carrying a package he didn’t have just minutes prior.
“As I’m seeing, it I’m pissed because he’s obviously trespassing through my yard. I’m home alone,” said the neighbor.
She made the quick decision to follow the man. She went outside, got in her car, and followed the alleged package thief down the road.
“In the moment, you can only remember so much so I wanted a clear description of what he looked like,” she explained.
The description came with consequences. The neighbor said the man attacked her when she started snapping pictures of him with her smartphone.
“He proceeded to hit me repeatedly with the bag and the other things he was holding through the window of my car,” said the woman.
She said she stopped following the man after the alleged attack. She said the man got away, and she believes he had just stolen a package off of her next-door neighbor's porch.
“I was really happy that she chased him down and got pictures of him because that really helped the police,” said Layla Barr, the woman living next-door.
Barr said the package that is believed to have been stolen contained an expensive jacket she had ordered. Barr hopes the garment isn't going to waste.
“It was a nice jacket so I hope somebody has it that needs to be warm,” she said.
Both Barr and her watchful neighbor agreed that stealing is not the answer for any one who has fallen on hard times.
“(He) obviously may be down on his luck, but that doesn’t justify taking stuff from somebody that they’ve earned and paid for with their own money,” said the unidentified neighbor.
A police report regarding the alleged theft has been filed with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. The neighbor said she does plan to press assault charges if the man she photographed is caught.
She encourages others to let their neighbors know if they plan on getting a package during the day while they are away so someone can keep an eye out for the delivery.
Police have not given official confirmation that the man photographed during the incident is indeed the suspect they are looking for in the case. For that reason, the man's face was blurred in photographs used by WBTV.