Thief in Highland takes Christmas packages from porch, leaves empty box behind

HIGHLAND, Utah -- They're back and stealing your holiday cheer. This surveillance footage was captured Tuesday in Highland and shows a man taking Christmas packages off a front porch.

This family now joins the more than 20 million Americans who have their packages stolen from their homes before they can even open them. The Ball family says this thief went up to their porch in broad daylight while they were all home.

“I went outside to check on our Christmas lights and saw the empty box and I thought that's really odd,” said Nick Ball of Highland.

When Nick rewound his surveillance, he saw a man who appears calm, cool and collected as he goes up to the porch with a box in hand before putting it down and picking up the other boxes—all of this happening in broad daylight.

“You kind of feel violated, there wasn't much value in the boxes, replacing the stuff isn't a big deal: but you feel vulnerable at that point in the middle of the day on a busy street, you feel violated for sure,” Ball said.

While this thief didn't get away with much in these packages.

“We bought some Christmas gifts for the kids' teachers, so we had some personalized candy jars and personalized notepads with their names on it so nothing they can do anything with,” Ball said.

Police say this is a painful reminder: tis the season, when packages are ripe for the picking. All over the valley we see the numbers rise as modern day Grinches are getting away with gifts again and again.

During this time of year, most police departments are on the lookout for package thieves and are setting up stings or even baiting packages with GPS devices, leading them to the bad guys and delivering them to jail.

Many of these crimes are caught on camera, and when the surveillance is posted online for thousands to see it makes it easier to catch the criminal.

“Now I feel a little empowered, people keep seeing the video, and I feel hopeful we'll hatch the person and prevent it from happening to someone else,” Ball said.

If you recognize the man from the surveillance, call Lone Peak Police.

Police encourage residents to make sure they are requiring a signature upon delivery so packages aren't left unattended, or they suggest having the packages delivered to a workplace.