Thief chased by neighbor after swiping package from SW Miami-Dade home

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida man refused to let a thief get away with a package that, police said, he had grabbed off his neighbor’s front porch, Tuesday afternoon.

According to homeowner Cliff Zenni, the subject tried to steal a boxed-up tricycle from outside the residence, located along Southwest 94th Lane, in Southwest Miami-Dade, at around 3 p.m., about a half hour after a UPS driver had dropped it off.

Zenni said the perpetrator was caught on camera. “He looks into the camera, the idiot, and then he just runs away with the package,” he said.

Zenni, who was in New York on business at the time of the incident, said he owns a motion detector doorbell camera, and the video ended up being sent to his smartphone. “We got this ring doorbell here on the door,” he said. “Every time somebody approaches the door, it starts recording.”

The thief is then seen snatching the package like it belonged to him. “While picking up the package, you hear the chimes going on, because when you approach the door, the chimes go off,” said Zenni.

What the subject didn’t realize is that Zenni’s neighbor had spotted him. “I said, ‘Hey, what are you doing?'” said the neighbor, who asked not to be identified.

The thief, who was wearing a backpack, then took off and tried running with the package through a nearby alleyway.

Shortly after, the neighbor said, the crook dropped the package and fled. “Basically, it was very fast. I guess he got scared,” he said. “I startled him, because when he saw me, he wasn’t expecting anybody back there, and he just took off running.”

“He was about to take it out to run with it, but I guess he got spooked,” said Zenni.

The neighbor then called police.

Zenni said the Fisher Price tricycle was a Christmas gift for his 5-year-old son Ethan. While he’s grateful he was able to get the package back, he said he is still angry.

“A guy like that ruining Christmas for a 5-year-old? It’s just disgusting,” said Zenni.

Two other area residents told 7News they’ve had items taken from their front steps, earlier this week as well.

Zenni has filed a police report. Police are investigating.

If you have any information on this thief’s whereabouts, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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