Sand Springs Teen Pumpkin Thieves Own Up After Facebook Post

Monday, October 21st 2013, 10:07 pm
By: Tess Maune

A Halloween heist was caught on camera when a couple of teenage girls stole several pumpkins from the front porch of a Sand Springs home, breaking the hearts of the three kids who hand-picked the pumpkins.

"We do a lot of decorating each year for all the holidays," said Lori Nance.

Halloween is no exception, and Lori Nance makes sure her house is decked out for the holiday. But those decorations are just a small part of the family's spooky celebration.

The real tradition happens when the family heads to the pumpkin patch.

"It's a big deal when they're able to find that one special one that we later on will go ahead and carve," Lori said.

Carter, the eldest, picked a white one. Sara went the more traditional route with a great big, orange pumpkin and her little sister, Katie, followed in Sara's footsteps.

But on Saturday night, the three pumpkins turned up missing, putting another Nance family tradition in peril.

"I didn't know if we were gonna get to carve them this year, and we usually do that each year, and I was really sad," Sara said.

What the teens didn't realize is the Nances have a sophisticated security system. The whole thing was recorded.

And Lori, who said she's not much for social media, decided to put out a warning to others by posting a still shot of the girls on Facebook.

"But I thought, 'You know, to save someone else the harm of other kids being sad, let other people know about it,'" Lori said.

An hour and a half after that post, the Nances' doorbell rang.

"'I'm very sorry for stealing your family's pumpkins,'" Lori read. "'I realize it was very childish and selfish of me and my friends. We apologize for upsetting your kids.'"

It was the two young girls with their parents. They returned the pumpkins, along with a handwritten letter.

"It was probably tough for them to do. Definitely, you could say they were very nervous, but good for them, though," Lori said.

Lori said that tough decision left a lasting lesson for other kids.

"I think this is a good example, even to show my own kids, that even if you do make a bad choice, you can apologize and you can say, 'I'm sorry,' and you can own up for what you did," Lori said.

Lori said the family accepted the pumpkins and the apology, no questions asked and said she never intended on calling police.

"I think it was a good thing for them. I'm not mad, I'm not upset. I'm happier for them that they were able to come and do the right thing," Lori said.

"So they did awesome, they really did. [They] had supportive parents who were willing to stand by their kids, saying, 'I know they did wrong, but we're willing to help them out through this situation.'"

The teens reportedly returned pumpkins to other homes in the Nances' neighborhood.

Sand Springs Deputy Police Chief Mike Carter said the department hadn't gotten any reports of stolen pumpkins in the past week, but said if you have pumpkins stolen, you should report it. Even though it may not seem like a major crime, it still helps police track crime patterns in neighborhoods. And it is considered petit larceny, which carries about a $350 fine.