It’s generally a polite gesture to write a thank-you note when someone does something kind for you and you want to recognize their efforts.
A thank-you note from a thief seems paradoxical, but that’s exactly what a Minnesota woman says she got.
Hilary Smith, who lives in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area, had ordered a Christmas gift and scheduled for it to be delivered to her home.
When she went home to get it, she says she found a piece of paper on her porch steps instead of the box she expected.
It was a handwritten note — a thank-you note — from a person who signed off as “The new owner of your package.”
“I looked down and there was a piece of notebook paper folded neatly on the top step,” Smith told WCCO. “So I picked it up, read it, it basically was a ‘thank you’ note for letting me steal your package.”
“I do appreciate a nicely crafted ‘thank you’ note, but this is ridiculous. I was angry and confused and quite flabbergasted someone would actually leave a ‘thank you’ note when they steal a package.”
“It’s brazen and arrogant,” she continued. “Just making sure we raise awareness that this is really happening, and I don’t want people to have their holiday season wrecked to have something big stolen from them.”
Since the beginning of October, 94 packages have been reported stolen in St. Paul alone, police told WCCO.
The St. Paul Police Department picked up Smith’s story and shared it to Facebook on Friday, along with some helpful tips on how to avoid being the victim of package theft this year.
“Porch pirates are the scourge of the holiday season, creeping around neighborhoods at all hours of the day, tip-toeing up to homes, stealing packages that don’t belong to them,” police wrote.
Even the cops seemed shocked at the new twist that this bold and apparently shameless thief displayed — a development in the porch pirate MO.
“And now they’re leaving … … … thank you notes?” the post continued.
St. Paul Police Sergeant Mike Ernster told WCCO that this was a first for them: “It’s something we’ve never seen before, and I don’t know what to chalk it up to. It’s so unheard of.”
“Know that we’re doing all we can to identify and arrest these Scrooges (see: bait packages),” police reassured readers in their Facebook post.
“But we could also use your help to prevent these crimes. Here are five things you can do to prevent a porch pirate from stealing your stuff…”
St. Paul Police suggested that people who have packages delivered have them sent to Amazon lockers for pick-up, have them dropped off at their work address or with a trusted neighbor or even just require a signature for delivery.
Ernster also urged the public to “report crimes as they occur so we can keep track of them and hopefully solve them.”
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