Porch pirate suspect said he stole Christmas elf statue 'on a dare,' police said

A stolen elf statue was returned to a South Tampa home after a 20-year-old man admitted to being dared into the crime, police said.

Tampa police returned the stolen Christmas décor Wednesday night. Detectives said they received a tip identifying the suspect who walked onto the porch last week and walked away carrying the stolen item.

Police said the man, who was not identified, admitted that “he stole the elf on a dare.” They said he was remorseful and had never been in trouble with the law before. 

The homeowner didn’t want to press charges. The Tampa Police Department shared video on its Facebook page showing two officers placing the elf back in its rightful spot on the porch.

“The message to would-be thieves: You better watch out - because Santa, surveillance cameras, and TPD are keeping an eye out for Grinches, porch pirates, and package thieves this year,” the agency wrote on its Facebook page.