Porch pirate left thank you note on woman's stoop 'for letting me steal your package'

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- It's not unusual to see surveillance video of porch pirates helping themselves to packages left on people's doorsteps, but it is unusual for the thief to leave behind a thank you note. That's what Hilary Smith of St. Paul, Minnesota found outside her home.

When Smith got home, expecting to find a gift she'd ordered on her front stoop, she saw a note that was left for her expressing gratitude for the package -- which had been stolen from her. The note was signed, "The new owner of your package."

Smith posted about it on social media.

"I looked down and there was a piece of notebook paper folded neatly on the top step where the package probably should have been, so I picked it up, read it, and it basically was a thank you note, 'For letting me steal your package,'" said Smith. "I do appreciate a nicely crafted thank you note, but this is ridiculous. I was angry and confused, and quite flabbergasted that somebody would actually leave a thank you note when they steal a package."

It even surprised police.

"It's something we've never seen before, and I don't know what to chalk it up to," said Sgt. Mike Ernster with the St. Paul Police Department. "It's so unheard of. We want people to report the crimes as they occur so that we can keep track of them and hopefully solve them."

Police noted package thefts increase during the holiday season, and noted since Oct. 1, at least 94 of the thefts were reported in St. Paul.

"It's brazen and arrogant," said Smith. "That's a little gift for my dog. 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."