For newlywed bride Brittany Hale, it was a moment of horror when she learned that the beautiful and elaborate wedding photo displays that she had mailed to her parents and grandparents for Christmas had been stolen right off their front porch.
Hale told Inside Edition, “It was completely devastating. I broke down in tears just because I was so sad because I put so much time and effort into making those photo collages.”
She found out about the theft after her parents looked at their porch video surveillance footage and witnessed what appeared to be a woman wearing jeggings and a large hoodie pilfering three packages in broad daylight.
Hale used Facebook to post the video and spread news of the theft at the Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. home. She begged the suspected thief to return the packages, no questions asked. Her dad was doubtful it would work.
"We were thinking, you know, being so special that these people were going to just open it...and just throw them in the dumpster," Wayne Torrisi said, according to ABC 7 Eyewitness News.
But then something that’s being described as a miracle occurred on New Year’s Eve. Video footage captured what is believed to be the same woman, wearing similar clothing, returning the packages in the dark of night. The suspected thief can be seen carefully keeping her head down so her face wouldn’t show up on camera.
Hale’s parents showed Inside Edition one of the undamaged photo collages.
“It is going in our family room so we can look at it every day and enjoy it,” Hale’s mom Lori Torrisi told the reporter after pulling one of the canvas prints out of the box.
She added, "I can't tell her how appreciative I am that she did the right thing in the end and returned it.”
Package thefts by so-called “porch pirates” have become a growing problem in the age of Amazon Prime. Some homeowners have gone beyond simply filming the thefts to creating bobby traps for the would-be purloiners. A guy in Washington did both, filming the dramatic reactions of porch pirates as they ran for their lives.
Watch the video report of Brittany Hale’s stolen and returned packages below: