Woman who stole presents from porches gets 90 days in jail

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - Some were calling her a grinch.

Twenty-seven year-old Cassandra Peaco was arrested just days before Christmas for stealing packages from half a dozen homes in Mechanicsville.

Tuesday she pled guilty to over half a dozen charges stemming from her Christmas-time run and was taken to jail.

Andy Schwabe received a late Christmas present Tuesday when the woman that tried to take his children's presents pled guilty and headed to jail.

"The Christmas Grinch caper is over," he said.  "Justice is served and I'm happy about that."

Peaco will spend the next three months in jail after pleading guilty to six counts of petty larceny and one count of attempted larceny. That last charge was only attempted larceny because a neighbor confronted Peaco after she saw her on a neighbor's porch.

"My neighbors cared enough about my well-being and I care enough about theirs that they watched out for me to stop people from doing that sort of thing," Schwabe said.

In court a judge read out loud a list of items she took including food, DVDs and other electronics. She tearfully said goodbye to her mother as she was led away in handcuffs.

Even though several months have passed since Peaco targeted this neighborhood, people here still have unanswered questions.

"I wanted to ask her, what was going through your mind that you thought it was ok that you were on my porch to take my packages from my children's Christmas," Schwabe said.  "What made you think that was ok?"

Schwabe says he still hasn't wrapped his mind around what happened right on his front porch.

"On one hand, I was shocked," he said.  "Why would anyone do that? Run around front porches stealing packages. On the other hand, I'm a little cynical in this day and age and yeah, I wasn't surprised."

Peaco's attorney asked a judge if she could go home from jail on weekends to take care of her kids. The judge wouldn't go for it because of how many packages she took and the fact she took them just before Christmas.

Peaco's sentence could be reduced to 45 days with good behavior.

She's not allowed to go back to any of the homes where she stole packages, and if she does, her sentence could be lengthened to nearly seven years in jail.

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