UPDATE: Possum porch pirate leads to laughs and donations
A woman from Fairfield whose Amazon package was stolen by a possum was gifted new earrings - and is giving back herself.
It's all thanks to the wildlife at the center of it - a possum caught on camera stealing Betsy Lockhart's Amazon package. Inside was a pair of white gold hoop earrings from Ross-Simons.
"I went away for the weekend to Westbrook, and people had seen the story and they're like, 'Oh you're the lady with the possum problem.' Yes, I'm the lady with the possum problem," Betsy Lockhart said.
The story made its way to Ross-Simons president and CEO Jim Speltz in Rhode Island.
"We all first had a good laugh, and then said, 'Oh my gosh, what are we going to do for Ms. Lockhart?"' said Speltz.
The answer? Ross-Simons sent Lockhart a new pair of earrings, along with a gift certificate - and made it possum-proof.
"So, we built a package that had all kinds of warnings to the critter — pictures and 'Go away possum' messages, put it in a big heavy box and sure enough it seems that was effective," said Speltz.
Lockhart said it was a surprise when the package showed up - and so was the call from Amazon.
Amazon's spokesperson says the company wanted to send Lockhart another pair of earrings, which it did, but Lockhart had a different request. That's where Wildlife in Crisis, a rescue and rehabilitation center in Weston, comes in.
"We take in all native species, injured or orphaned wildlife," says Wildlife in Crisis outreach Director Peter Reid. "Hundreds of baby possums are raised here every year."
Lockhart made a donation there , and Amazon and Ross-Simons joined her in.
"I think it might be time to pass the possum torch off to the wildlife in crisis folks," said Lockhart.
On Tuesday, a neighbor found the original package in a pile of leaves in their background. It was intact but with the possum's personal touch - tiny little bite marks.
That's not the only souvenir Lockhart has from the porch pirate saga. She's been gifted some possum stuffed animals, including one with accessories.
"It's just been hysterical. There's a lot of possums and earrings in my life right now," she said.
Lockhart said she's talked to Wildlife in Crisis about possibly donating the extra earrings for some sort of fundraiser.