Thieves Think They’re Stealing Gift Delivery; Make Off With Boxes Of Family Heirlooms & Dad’s Ashes Instead

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‘Tis the season for thieves across the country to swoop down upon doorsteps, porches, and stoops to swipe all those gift deliveries waiting outside folks’ homes. But somewhere in Ohio there’s a thief who now has boxes of very personal items — including the ashes of a dearly departed dad — that are worthless to the thief, but mean the world to the family from which they were stolen.

The boxes contained items priceless to a man in Akron whose mother died on Thanksgiving in Oregon, reports The Akron Beacon Journal. He’d shipped packages full of his mom’s belongings home with the U.S. Postal Service, with boxes containing family photographs, items with deep sentimental value, and an urn with his father’s ashes inside.

He’s now appealing to the thieves’ holiday spirit, and wants them to return the items — no questions asked. He won’t press charges or tell the police he says, and in turn, they’ll receive his deepest gratitude — and maybe a monetary reward.

“Every day since they got stolen, I’ve been remembering things I packed in there,” the man said. “I want it all back partly just so I know it’s not in a landfill somewhere.”

He’s especially frustrated because he says he paid for the USPS’ signature confirmation service but a delivery driver simply left the boxes outside his home. In the 40 minutes between delivery and when his wife arrived home, two of the three packages had vanished.

“I’ve been in communication with the local post office and they tell me they delivered the boxes, so they’re not liable for the stolen things,” he said. “Even though I paid for the signature confirmation, they say they’re not liable.”

A USPS spokesman told the paper there isn’t much that can be done.

“Really all we can do is offer a refund of the shipping costs,” he said, adding that the the post office is empathetic. He didn’t answer questions about why the signature wasn’t collected upon delivery.

“We certainly regret the service experienced by this customer,” he said, “and have reached out to him with sincere apologies for this difficult situation.”