Utah girl’s drawing brings police closer to finding porch pirates

SPRINGVILLE, Utah – Springville police are one step closer to catching suspected thieves thanks to a 9-year-old girl’s drawing.

It’s your classic mail theft story: people stealing packages straight from the mailbox. But when one Springville family’s box was hit Saturday, they never thought their 9-year-old daughter, Symoni, would be responsible for foiling the porch pirates.

“It’s crazy,” said Symoni’s mom, Nicole Berg.

“This is a story you don’t see every day,” Springville Police Chief Craig Martinez said with a smile.

Symoni and her friends were walking to back to her house Saturday afternoon when she saw porch pirates in the act. A truck pulled up next to the family's mailbox and someone jumped out, snagged a package, and left.

“She [Symoni] had her sister call me. I thought at first that she was joking,” Nicole said.

Nicole asked Symoni to draw what she saw, so she got out some paper and her markers.

“It stuck out to me,” Symoni said. “I just had the picture of the truck in my head.”

So, she drew what appeared to be a simple red truck.

“The officer looked at it and thought it was a pretty good picture, didn’t really think anything of it until we looked at the video surveillance from the neighbor’s home,” Martinez said.

When comparing the two side-by-side, Symoni’s drawing looks like a cartoon carbon copy of the suspect’s vehicle.

“I mean, I’ve seen adult witnesses that are way off compared to this 9-year-old little girl,” Martinez laughed.

Symoni got it all, down to the last detail.

“This thing, is the thing that it had on the bed of the truck,” she said as she pointed out a black frame off of the truck bed made of some kind of tubing.

“This is where paint was scratched off a little bit, and a little bit of dents,” she pointed to the gray smudges she had drawn all over the truck she had drawn.

The Bergs said the porch pirates didn’t get away with much.

“My daughter’s 9th grade Honors English reading for the summer, so Pygmalion and 1984 were the books that were in the package,” Nicole said.

“They were probably like, ‘What the heck! Why are there books here?’” Symoni laughed.

But the thieves left behind an even better story that no one will forget.

“I hope they have fun reading,” Nicole joked.

“It’s the first time in 22-years of law enforcement that we’ve had a 9-year-old sketch artist help us identify some criminals,” Martinez smiled. “I’m very confident at some point we’ll be able to find out who the truck owner is.”

If you recognize the truck or have other helpful information, call Springville Police at 801-489-9421.

To put Symoni’s drawing skills, and memory, to the test, we asked her to draw our Fox 13 news car after only seeing it twice. Watch the video above to see how she did!

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