Report: Facebook the key to helping deputies identify alleged porch pirate

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Friday, May 3, 2019

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office says the woman in this video, identified as Christy Anne Hutton, stole a package from a front porch. (Source: Columbia County Sheriff's Office)

COLUMBIA COUNTY, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Facebook may have been the key to helping Columbia County deputies identify a woman accused of stealing packages from front porches.

According to a Columbia County Sheriff's Office incident report, one of the victims in the case, Jennifer Rushing, had surveillance video from her front porch of a woman stealing a package -- one of five she was expecting to receive with clothes for a cruise with her husband.

"My husband was home, and I walk in and say, 'Hey, where's my packages,'" Rushing said.

Amazon said a delivery had been made to their home. But the package wasn't there. Instead, there was a picture frame left behind.

"That's when I knew something had happened," Rushing said. "So I looked at my Ring and I saw the video that I shared online was of the woman coming with a picture frame and a bag."

The video shows the suspect walk up to the house, open a bag, and stuff the package in before leaving.

"My first reaction honestly was, 'Oh, this poor woman delivered the picture to the wrong house,' and then I kept watching and I saw her stuffing all my packages into her bag," Rushing said, "and I was like, 'Wait!'"

Rushing posted the video to Facebook, the report said, and it was later revealed the suspect was identified as Christy Anne Hutton.

"People don't like thieves, and I learned that very quickly on Facebook when I started sharing the post and some photos and some still-shots of her," Rushing said. "People just snatched that up like fire and they shared it. There were people that actually knew the woman."

Investigators used that video as well as video of Hutton in a Richmond County case to positively identify the woman in the video as Hutton.

It was a tattoo on Hutton's chest that was pictured in both videos that aided in the investigation.

Rushing, meanwhile, found the page where the suspect was attempting to sell the items that was stolen from her home.

"I know it's just a silly thing, it's just some packages, but at the end of the day we do want to stop crime and everyone starts somewhere," Rushing said. "So as long as we look out for each other and we make sure that our houses aren't getting stolen from, I think it makes the community a better place."

Officials are continuing to seek Hutton.

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