Caught On Camera: Couple Burglarized While Giving Birth

MODESTO (CBS13) – While at the hospital for the birth of their baby girl, a Modesto couple got an alert that their home is being broken into.

Two thieves were caught on surveillance camera stealing from the property and trying to break in.

“It was really shocking, because she was just born, and I was just recovering from an emergency C-section,” said Esther Epps.

Leela Grace Epps is just 10 days old — born at 7 pounds 1 ounce on July 23. She’s quite the gift for first-time parents Jeremy and Esther, who had also just experienced a loss in the family.

“I’m feeling very overwhelmed with joy, very blessed. My dad just passed, so she’s really a blessing,” said Esther.

But just hours after Leela was born, her parents got an alarming phone call from Ring, their home security system.

“She was 15-hours old, we both were tired, so to get news that someone was breaking into the house was a little shocking,” said Jeremy.

The Epps had just installed cameras at their home three weeks prior.

“As they’re walking to the front door, you can hear them say ‘no one’s home.’ They just took the boxes. They did try to kick the door in, but were not successful. There are still footprints on the door, two footprints on the door,” said Jeremy.

Deadbolts on the bottom of their door and the alarm system helped keep the thieves out, but Modesto police say they did get away with packages that, according to the Epps, were items for the baby.

“By looking at the video, our detectives were able to identify the suspects and make an arrest,” said Heather Graves.

Darvel Blackwell, a 35-year-old Los Angeles-area man on parole who was recently allowed to move to Stanislaus County, was arrested Tuesday.

“We’re just relieved he’s captured and police are actively looking for the other perpetrator,” said Jeremy.

The arrest has provided some peace of mind for these two parents who are grateful to police for making an arrest so quickly. They feel safe and can now put all their focus on little Leela.

“She’s starting to smile, and it just brings joy to a situation like that,” said Esther.

Police are looking for a second suspect in the attempted home burglary, a 15-year-old boy.

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