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Thieves steal Christmas gifts from the porch of Salt Lake City family

Published December 17, 2013 7:40 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Another Utah family is without their Christmas gifts after thieves snatched delivered packages off their porch in Salt Lake City.

Matt Pacenza said he and his family were running errands for a few hours Saturday when his children's Christmas presents and other holiday items were taken from their porch, near 1500 South and 400 East.

The crooks made off with a magnetic construction kit intended for Pacenza's sons, ages 5 and 9, and special labels for jars of homemade treats Pacenza had planned to send to friends and relatives.

"I know people are desperate, and I know I'm relatively lucky not to be living hand to mouth, but there's gotta be a better way than stealing people's Christmas presents off their porches," Pacenza said. "I mean, what are they going to do with those labels?"

The gifts were stolen one day after a security camera at a Holladay home caught thieves snatching packages from the front porch.

Pacenza, who is policy director for HEAL Utah, said he plans to request signed deliveries only and direct carriers to less visible entrances to the home.

"I assume these are crimes of opportunity," he said. "I can't imagine these are neighbors surreptitiously waiting and pouncing when we leave."

He said he and his wife considered baiting thieves with an unpleasant surprise.

"It's very tempting to leave something nasty in a box, but you don't want to escalate something with someone who might not be totally balanced," he said.

ealberty@sltrib.com