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Utah porch pirates behind bars after doorbell cam catches them in the act

Posted at 9:33 PM, Dec 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-17 09:25:19-05

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah — Two porch pirates are behind bars and a family has their Christmas gifts back after police say a doorbell cam caught them in the act.

The Vankomen’s home in West Point is decked in holiday cheer, but Friday it turned into a nightmare before Christmas.

“To know that an individual, a thief with bad intentions, was just that close to our nice house and my wife and son, it was kind of frightening,” said JJ Vankomen, as he stood on his front porch next to his wife.

A doorbell caught the entire incident on camera — a man walks up to their porch in broad daylight, snags an arm full of packages and then takes off.

“That’s what we’ve kind of dubbed him around here was the Grinch, stealing our christmas,” Vankomen smiled.

The Vankomen’s said the boxes were full of Christmas gifts.

“We didn’t ever think it would happen to us,” he said.

The packages hadn’t even been on their porch an hour when it happened.

“He [the thief] was really bold to come out here and do it, I’m sure some individuals even saw him running away with the packages,” Vankomen said.

And someone did, a neighbor saw the “Grinch” and called the police.

An officer in the area found the car the neighbor had described and upon noticing a lack of license plates, pulled them over. The Davis County Sheriff’s Office said the officer saw a woman driving and a man in the backseat next to a bunch of Amazon packages.

DCSO said the woman drove away while the officer was standing outside of the car, the officer followed but the duo hit a dead end in a culdesac. The two ran, officer’s quickly arrested the man, Fabian Cortez. The woman, Nicole Lupica had hidden in a bush and was found later that evening. Both are now behind bars at the Davis County Jail.

The Vankomen’s got their gifts back, but not before messing with a few family members.

“My son-in-law called me and said ‘I saw the video, I’m sorry that happened.’ So I told him, ‘unfortunately that was your Christmas gift running away, so better luck next year!’” Vankomen laughed.

The Davis County Sheriff’s office wants everyone to take this as a reminder to be cautious this holiday season, especially if you are an online shopper.

Provo Police are also reminding residents to take steps to secure their deliveries, offering some serious advice as well as some more lighthearted direction.