The confrontation was over a $14 strapless bra, but nobody knew it at the time.
Dusty Jones, 34, was returning Thursday to his Tacoma home from his job as a welder when he was surprised to see a black Honda hatchback in his driveway.
Then he noticed a blond woman in a salmon-colored jacket taking a package from his front porch.
Jones pulled in behind the car, blocking it in the driveway, and reached for his phone. His adrenaline was pumping as he fumbled to turn on the phone’s camera and start shooting video.
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Then he stepped out of the car and confronted the would-be thieves. The woman told Jones it was her house.
“I’m sorry, I live here,” Jones replied as he approached the car. Two men were inside.
The woman pulled out her phone and said she was calling the cops.
“Yeah, do it,” Jones said.
The video shows the woman, still holding the package and with the phone to her ear, as she gets into the car.
That’s when Jones recognized the name on the package’s label. It was addressed to his girlfriend, 24-year-old Andrina Hargrave.
Finally, the woman tossed the package out the window and tried to move the car, almost hitting Jones. He moved his car and the porch prowlers drove away.
“I had to let them go,” said Jones, who didn’t learn until later that the package was a bra Hargrave ordered online. “I had the package and wasn’t going to endanger myself.”
Tacoma police were on the scene in minutes and Hargrave came home about the same time. Officers watched the video, looked at photos and told the couple they would drive the area looking for the would-be thieves.
Jones posted the video on Facebook and was surprised by what happened next.
By noon Friday, the video was viewed more than 170,000 times and shared more than 2,400 times.
“And my phone has been blowing up,” Jones said.
Several people said they recognized the woman and passed along her name. Another posted a home security image of the woman on a porch. Somebody even sent a picture of the car and its location.
Police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said that because the package was not stolen, officers will not follow up. However, she said, the information in the post could help identify the prowlers if they’re involved in crimes the department is working on.
Jones and Hargrave said they were impressed by the online response and says this should deter thieves who think they can get away with porch prowling.
“You think you are anonymous in Tacoma, but everybody knows somebody,” Hargrave said.
The couple moved into the home three weeks ago and have enjoyed what Hargrave called a peaceful neighborhood.
After Thursday’s encounter, Jones says he paced for about two hours, recounting the incident until his adrenaline stopped pumping.
The couple laughed that the prowlers had swiped the tiny package instead of the larger delivery sitting on the porch. The bigger package contained a piece of furniture.
And even though he risked his safety over some underwear, that didn’t really matter to Hargrave.
“She did mention several times than I’m her hero,” Jones said.