FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - ‘Twas the afternoon before Christmas, and all through an apartment complex in Hollywood, not a creature was stirring, except for a Grinch with sticky fingers.
Surveillance video at the Cortland Hollywood apartment complex captured the brazen porch pirate swiping packages left and right.
But what the yuletide crook didn’t account for was doorbell security cameras rolling and a set of eyes on the other side.
Hollywood Police Officer Christian Lata said they received a call at around 6 p.m.
“A victim who called it in said, ‘Hey, there’s a guy going around stealing packages from me and my neighbors’ front yards. I have it on my Ring cam,” he said.
Responding officers arrived to find Steven Watson. When he spotted the first responders, investigators said, the suspect took off running.
The officers pursued and were able to take Watson into custody without incident.
Inside his car, detectives said, were 39 packages, all stolen from the victims’ doorsteps.
“It’s like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a police officer where he can actually catch these burglars and return the items to the victims,” said Lata.
So that’s what Hollywood Police officers did on Saturday night, one after the other, as they did what they could to save these residents’ Christmas.
Officers were able to return most of the stolen packages.
Watson faces two counts of burglary, one count of grand theft and one count of resisting officers without violence. As of late Sunday night, he has not posted his $8,500 bond.
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