Thief returns stolen presents after father speaks out

by: George Marshalek Updated:

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PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. —

The victim of a Paulding County package theft said he found his daughter's stolen gifts wrapped in tarp with an apology note and cash after a Channel 2 Action News report.

Channel 2 Action News reported on Monday evening that the package had been stolen, but the thief was captured on surveillance video.

"It really gets your blood pumping. It makes you feel a little bit helpless. I was actually at work at the time, but my family was home," said homeowner Eric Truitt. “Makes you very angry."

Truitt said the return of the stolen items one day later and the sorry note attached helps but does not solve the bigger problem.

“Our concern is that there’s a wider net of victims here, whose voice isn’t represented, that have had things stolen from them, that aren’t going to have them returned and aren’t going to receive an apology,” he said.
 
Surveillance cameras were rolling when the box was delivered just before noon Monday.
 
Within an hour, the homeowner says someone came to the porch and took the package but when the thief opened the box, he opened up a whole new set of problems.
 
"They picked the wrong house," Truitt told Channel 2’s Carl Willis. "We have 360 degree Blu-ray quality video coverage of the house."

Truitt is veteran intelligence analyst with the Navy. He spent hours tracking the thief.  
 
"The vehicle appeared to be a late 2007 to 2009 California special (Ford) Mustang," Truitt said about the getaway vehicle.
 
Truitt also posted video of the car on social media, alerting investigators and Channel 2 Action News to the story.
 
It's work that Truitt hopes will bring peace of mind back to family.
 
"He could've tried to get in the house or broken through a window. Never really know what's going to happen," said daughter Amber Truitt.
 
Willis saw a detective visit the home Monday. Deputies said there's a chance there could be other victims.
 
Although the gifts were returned, Truitt said it is about more than birthday gifts. He said this incident shows the power people have to fight crime.

“Especially now being able to leverage social media, the chances of getting away with things these days are getting slimmer and slimmer,” he said. “People are paying attention. People are watching. There’s cameras everywhere.”

Paulding County confirmed that two people in a black Mustang were arrested on unrelated charges and were being interviewed about the package theft.