A real-life Grinch took nastiness to a new level after snatching a gift from a doorstep and leaving a sarcastic thank-you note for the victim.
Hilary Smith ordered a Christmas gift for her boss and had it delivered to her snowy home in St. Paul, Minnesota. But she never saw the package.
"I looked down, and there was a piece of notebook paper folded neatly on the top step, where the package probably should have been," Smith told CNN affiliate WCCO Friday.
The handwritten message was colder than a frigid Minnesota morning:
"So just a quick little thank you for leaving me the (opportunity) of stealing your package," the thief wrote. "Very nice of you. Thank you."
The porch pirate signed the note, "The new owner of your package."
Smith said she's bewildered by the bandit's audacity.
"I do appreciate a nicely crafted thank-you note, but this is ridiculous," she said.
St. Paul police Sgt. Mike Ernster told WCCO he's never heard of post-theft thank-you notes before. But he said any other victims should call police.
"We want people to report crimes as they occur so we can keep track of them and hopefully solve them," Ernster said.
Experts say there are several ways you can reduce your risk of getting looted by a porch pirate, such as:
-- Shipping packages to your work address or to a trusted neighbor who will be home
-- Using an Amazon Hub Locker for Amazon packages
-- Asking FedEx or UPS to hold a package at one of their facilities until you can pick it up
Meanwhile, Smith is conducting her own sting operation in case the bandit comes back to her home. She's leaving a decoy package on her doorstep as bait.
If a thief snatches it, he or she will discover the package is actually stuffed with "a little gift from my dog."