BEL AIR, Md. (WJZ) — The “porch pirate” father wanted for allegedly using his 5-year-old daughter to steal packages from Harford County homes before Christmas was taken into custody on New Years Day.
The Harford County Sheriff’s Office said Gary Martin Smith was served a warrant by Baltimore County Police Tuesday.
He was then taken into custody by Harford Sheriff’s Office.
Smith, 46, was wanted by police after home security camera footage showed a young girl being directed to steal off a porch.
“I don’t even have the right words to describe how that is,” said Sheriff Jeffery Gahler. “He’s still being charged with theft, he knew the property was taken unlawfully whether he did it himself or the 5 year old removed it.”
Smith said he wouldn’t be posting bail even if it were an option. Aside from that statement, he didn’t have much to say in court Friday afternoon.
A home security camera captured the November 30 incident in Inez Court in Bel Air, where a pair of boots was in the box. The homeowner couldn’t believe what she saw.
“Definitely shocked that it was such a small child coming up to my front door and running away with my package,” said Vallan Hardison.
After the video was posted on Facebook, someone recognized the little girl and tipped off police.
Early in the investigation, deputies said the father tried to distance himself from the crime.
“I hope that little girl understands that she has no blame in this whatsoever,” Gahler said.
More than a month later, the 46-year-old father is now facing charges for theft.
Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said someone saw the video, recognized the little girl, and then deputies issued a warrant for Smith’s arrest.
“He personally found out we were looking for him, and turned himself in,” Gahler said.
Friday afternoon, Smith answered to a judge in Harford County District Court, saying little, except when asked about the possibility of bail.
“I’m not bailing out anyway,” Smith told the judge. “It makes no difference,”
The judge cited more than twenty prior arrests, an unverified address and a history of probation violations. The judge then ordered Smith to stay locked up.
Saying she “doesn’t have any confidence that he would comply with conditions of release if those were set,”
Smith would not have been released even if the judge set an amount for bail, because he has a separate case in Baltimore City that requires he stay in custody.