UPDATE: Woman from Porch Theft Arrested for Attempted Burglary

By  | 

UPDATE 12/4/14 @ 11:21 a.m.
CROSS LANES, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The woman seen on surveillance video taking packages from a front porch in Cross Lanes has been arrested.

The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office says Deborah Davis, 63, of Cross Lanes, has been charged with attempted burglary and petit larceny.

Surveillance video that was released earlier this week by a homeowner on Twin Lakes Drive in Cross Lanes shows Davis walking up to the house, peeking in the window, ringing the doorbell and taking a package off the front porch. She is later seen coming back to the porch, taking a wreath, checking to see if the door is unlocked, and taking another package before leaving.

According to the criminal complaint, Davis went to an off-duty Kanawha County Sheriff's Deputy's home and admitted she was the person who took the packages. She told the deputy there was more to the story. She gave a statement and referred her to those investigating the case.

Wednesday, Davis agreed to meet with investigators at the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office. She returned the stolen property and admitted she was the woman on the video.

She first said the theft was supposed to be a prank, but she went to the wrong house. She also said another woman was with her and gave her the idea, but showed her the wrong house. The other woman allegedly took the packages to the house and opened them, according to Davis.

Later Davis admitted that story was a lie. She then admitted she had been drinking and had a fight with her family at a home in Cross Lanes. She said when one of her family members left the house to stay with a friend, she was upset and wanted to find the family member. She said she thought she would find them near Twin Lakes Drive. While in the neighborhood, she saw the packages at the home and decided to steal them.

Deputies say they made the decision to check out her story before officially filing charges. She then admitted to the theft and that she was lying.

Cpl. Brian Humphreys says, "Mrs. Davis later admitted that it wasn't a prank that it was a bad decision on her part and she felt very sorry about what she'd done."

According to the criminal complaint, Davis was caught on camera trying to enter the front and back doors. She was never able to get in the home and did not do any damage to the door frames.

Neighbors who live near Davis say they saw the video but didn't recognize her. They say they're stunned to hear she would try to steal someone's Christmas.

"When I was younger we used to sleigh ride down the hill. She would come out with her sons and we would sleigh ride down the hill. She's always been an awesome neighbor," neighbor Nicholas Angel says.

This is not Davis' first run-in with the law. Davis has a lengthy criminal history, including more than 30 charges of forged prescriptions prescriptions in 2011, as well as possession charges.

Davis posted her bond on Thursday. She did not comment during her arraignment.

UPDATE 12/3/14 @ 10:30 p.m.
CROSS LANES, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A video of a neighborhood Grinch stealing Christmas presents and decorations has gone viral.

The video, all caught on a home security camera, has been seen by more than half a million people from as far away as Texas to right down the road from the suspect.

"When I saw the whole thing I thought, 'gosh it kinda looks like her,' " said Wayne Pauley.

Pauley might not have recognized his neighbor the first time he saw the clip, but the resemblance finally clicked.

"The hair, and basically the build and the BMW really set it off," said Pauley, who admitted to being shocked.

By Wednesday afternoon, the woman in the video had turned herself in, as well as returned the gifts to the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department.

She gave a statement and later was allowed to leave.

"Not too many people walk into a police station and confess to a crime and get the luxury of walking back home the same day," said Ryan Ruth, who owns the home from which the gifts were stolen, "but I understand the process."

The sheriff's department says they are working to confirm parts of the woman's statement, and charges could be filed.

The department has been in contact with the Ruth family. On Wednesday night, they even dropped off the prized packages: a soccer ball and some plastic toys.

"Tough to pawn, I'm sure, is what she was thinking," Ryan Ruth said. "I'm sure it was a disappointment to her that it wasn't something of more value."

What is of value is the help from friends and strangers alike, truly showing the meaning of Christmas isn't in the gifts but in the spirit of giving

Part of that support is from people offering to buy the Ruth family new gifts. Amazon.com already sent replacements, which will be returned.

We tried to reach out to the woman in the video. We haven't heard back, but we'll keep trying. Keep clicking on the WSAZ app and WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.

UPDATE 12/3/14 @ 4 p.m.
CROSS LANES, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office says the woman seen on video taking presents and a wreath off a front porch in Cross Lanes has turned herself in.

A surveillance video showing the theft went viral Tuesday.

Investigators say the family was out of town last weekend. When they returned home, they noticed a package that had been delivered while they were gone was missing. Once they looked at the surveillance video, they saw the theft.

Deputies say on Wednesday, a woman identified herself as the person on the video taking the packages. She gave a statement regarding the incident, and says she returned the items she said were stolen from the porch.

Deputies say they are checking out parts of the woman's story.

They say they are holding the packages and they will be returned soon.

At this time, no charges will be filed.

In a release, investigators say the case will be turned over to the Kanawha County Prosecutor's Office to determine if charges will be filed.

The woman's name has not been released at this time.

Keep clicking on the WSAZ app and WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.

UPDATE 12/2/14 @ 11:45 p.m.
CROSS LANES, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A family in Kanawha County caught a woman on camera stealing Christmas gifts from their porch that had been delivered while they were out of town for Thanksgiving.

The gifts had been intended for the family's children.

The woman also took a wreath off the front door and tried to go in a back door of their Cross Lanes home along Twin Lakes Drive.

The family noticed something was missing when they returned home Sunday. When they checked their security footage, they were shocked.

"The lady came straight up, actually looked in our window," Marti Ruth said. "She was actually looking for a Christmas tree, with gifts of some sort and then she rang the door bell, bent over, picks up a package and just walks off."

The woman makes two trips to the porch, stealing packages in the first trip and a wreath and another package on the second trip.
The Ruths joked about the wreath being taken, but were still upset about it.

"I'm not sure why you'd steal that," Ryan Ruth said. "That kind of adds insult to injury, and that really made my wife mad. She's really picky about wreaths."

Ryan Ruth said if it were a person in need, he would understand a little bit more if it were a person in need, but his family is puzzled because the woman stealing from their home is an unsuspecting person.

"She's driving a BMW," Ruth said. "I don't drive a BMW or a Mercedes, and yet she's coming to our house to steal our packages."

ORIGINAL STORY 12/2/14 @ 4:52 p.m.
CROSS LANES, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office says a woman was caught on camera stealing presents and a wreath off a front porch in Cross Lanes.

Investigators say a family who lives on Twin Lakes Drive in Cross Lanes had been out of town for a few days.

While they were gone a package was delivered to the home and left on the front porch.

The residents say they looked for the package and could not find it, so they looked through the security cameras.

That's where they saw a woman walk up to the porch, look through the window and steal the package. She takes the package out of the view of the camera, and returns to check if the door is unlocked and steals the wreath off the front door. She also picks up a second package before leaving.

Investigators say she was driving a dark colored BMW.

You can watch the full video in the video box above.

If you have any information, call the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office at 304-357-0169.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus