LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s not your typical thief, and it’s certainly not your average crime. In fact, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd calls the suspect’s actions in this case “shocking.”
A Lakeland woman was caught on camera stealing presents from her neighbor’s house Friday night. The woman seen on surveillance is the wife of a Haines City police officer.
It seems as though she had no shame as she casually strolled up to a family’s home. But, there’s more to this bizarre case. The house she hit, according to the Polk Sheriff, belongs to another cop and his wife, and the packages were meant for their two-year-old little girl. The crime happened at 10 p.m. on a Friday night, and everyone was home.
Dana Hagar was busted on burglary charges Monday and booked into the Polk County jail. According to Sheriff Judd, it’s not the first time Hagar has been caught. He says she’s already on probation for shoplifting.
Surveillance video of the incident was posted to Facebook and seen nearly 50,000 times. It eventually lead to the woman’s arrest. “The fact that she’s a cop’s wife is shocking, the fact that she stole from another cop’s wife is shocking,” he said. “And, then my wife saw it on Facebook and knew more about it than I did.”
“Here’s the word. We’re watching the porch pirates, the cops’ wives are watching the porch pirates,” the sheriff told WFLA. “Facebook is watching the porch pirates. We’re gonna put you in jail and you’ll stay in our jail where you won’t need any presents.”
The woman eventually returned the presents early Monday morning around 4:30 a.m., placing them on the porch already opened. The Sheriff says it’s too little, too late.
Homeowners in the upscale Lakeland neighborhood say it’s not the first time they’ve been hit by other porch pirates. Now, they’re arming themselves with home surveillance cameras.
“Their car was in the driveway. So, she went right around the driveway and took their packages, and I’m just floored by that,” said Diane Calabrese, who was a victim last year when a man pulled up to her home and stole her son’s gifts. “She should know better, I hope she gets what’s coming to her,” she said
As for the Sheriff, he warns people to guard your presents. “Criminals are watching you and waiting,” he said. Detectives call it a “crime of opportunity.”
As for Dana Hagar, the Sheriff admits he’s extremely disappointed, even going so far as to describe it as “disgusting.” He maintains, “In law enforcement, we are held to a higher standard in the way we live. It’s important.”