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Homeowner 'Flabbergasted' at Note Porch Thief Left

Hilary Smith 'angry and confused' after Christmas gift swiped off her porch came with 'thank you' letter
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2019 8:18 AM CST

(Newser) – What CNN calls a "real-life Grinch" has struck in St. Paul, Minn., leaving a homeowner "quite flabbergasted" and local police proclaiming "bah humbug." WCCO and the Pioneer Press report that Hilary Smith ordered a Christmas gift for her boss via Amazon, and it arrived Wednesday, in a package left on her porch around noon, per a text message she received. When Smith got home from work around 5pm, however, there wasn't any package to be seen—but there was a handwritten note. "Just a quick little thank you for leaving me the opportunity of stealing your package," the letter read. "Very nice of you." The note was signed: "the new owner of your package."

"I do appreciate a nicely crafted 'thank you' note, but this is ridiculous," Smith tells WCCO. "I was angry and confused." She tells the Press that because the gift was just a small one—a portable phone charger—she didn't bother notifying the cops, but they got wind of the theft anyway after Smith posted about it on Facebook and a police department employee saw the post and encouraged her to file a report. "It's something we've never seen before," Sgt. Mike Ernster says, adding to KARE-TV, "They took the extra step to go beyond stealing [her] package, just to—salt in the wound—to rub [her] nose in it." Smith says Amazon did offer her a refund for the stolen gift. She also tells WCCO she now has a decoy package on her steps for anyone else who gets the idea in their head to swipe her stuff. Inside that package: a "gift from her dog." (Read more weird crimes stories.)

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