ST. PAUL (WCCO) — It’s the story of a real-life Grinch stealing Christmas in St. Paul. This time of year, the streets are busy with deliveries. Packages and presents left on porches and doorsteps.
“All these presents were delivered to my home,” said Carol Joslin, “to have Santa come to our house.”
But Joslin’s grandchildren didn’t get them on Christmas. That’s because a Grinch had been hard at work.
“Mean, it was mean,” said Joslin.
All through the neighborhood people reported seeing a suspicious driver following delivery trucks.
Just like the Grinch, when no one came to the door, he would take the packages.
“This guy was literally stealing packages right off of people’s doorsteps,” said St. Paul Police spokesman Andy Skoogman.
Skoogman said the tips from neighbors helped to track Pedro Flores down. Police found thousands of dollars in stolen Christmas presents in Flores’ car and at his home.
“He stole gift baskets, he stole Nintendo games,” said Skoogman, “you name it, he was stealing it.”
Molly Snyder’s family was a victim of the Grinch.
“At first when it happened we were all pretty bummed. In the scheme of things, it’s not the end of the world, but it felt really violating and annoying and made us angry,” said Snyder.
But what he stole had to make them laugh.
“I’m sure he thought he hit the mother lode with these huge heavy boxes and he thought he had TVs,” she said. “And they were personalized bath robes. That’s ridiculous.”
The police got three of the 12 robes back. And the family turned the whole sad story into something they could laugh about.
They took photos of the “haves” and “have nots” and Snyder posted it on her blog.
“This couldn’t be a more classic Grinch story of you stole all our presents, you’re not going to steal Christmas,” said Snyder. “If you see someone wearing one of these, it’s totally mine.”
Flores told St. Paul Police he sold a lot of the gifts. But police are still trying to return some of the presents they recovered.
If you were expecting a package that didn’t get delivered, you should contact police because they might have it.
Joan Gilbertson, Producer
WCCO-TV’s Reg Chapman Reports