TAMPA, Fla. — A 9-month-old baby is teaching porch pirates a lesson.
It all started when the Saleep family says they noticed packages missing, including food and one of the baby's gifts.
"I wanted them to get like a taste of their own medicine," Sharly Saleep said.
So, the family took matters into their own hands.
First, they installed a surveillance camera to see if the packages were actually delivered.
Then, they put out a decoy package to see if porch pirates were at work. But what they say they put inside the decoy wasn't anything a package thief would want to find.
"It was kind of like a team effort. He sealed it up made it look less suspicious made it look like something you'd want to take, and she provided the diapers," Jacky Saleep said. "...it was really disgusting, but I figured you know if they take it, they deserve it,"
Jacky said they filled the package with three-day-old dirty diapers. In about two hours, they believe someone took the package from their porch. Surveillance video shows someone running to the front door and quickly running away. The family filed a report with Tampa police.
"Whoever these porch pirates were, they fell for it," Tampa Police Officer Sarah Michelson said.
While the holiday season is typically expected to see an increase in package thefts, Michelson said they're down across Tampa this year.
Police said there were 25 package thefts in November 2018, compared to 10 in November 2019.
"Residents are a lot more aware of what's going on, our officers are definitely out there and visible," Michelson said.
The Saleeps said they're more aware, too. Out of safety concerns, they've installed more surveillance cameras.
But in a twist, the family later found out that a delivery driver had simply dropped their missing packages off at the wrong address.
They plan to tell their daughter, Nora, about the prank when she's older.
"(We'll) tell her it's not right to take other people's things and just be careful because it might not be what you're expecting when you open it up," Jacky Saleep said.
They may not be done teaching this lesson just yet, though.
"We're gonna have an upgrade, like cat litter now," Sharly Saleep said.
You can read more holiday safety tips from police here.
This story was originally published by Haley Bull on
in Tampa, Florida.