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Southern Utah family hit by food storage thieves while rebuilding after flood damage

Posted at 9:38 PM, May 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 00:29:32-04

ENOCH, Utah — Hundreds of residents southern Utah were impacted by flooding events in 2021, and some are still rebuilding their homes today.

Samantha Palmer, her husband and two children were flooded out of their Enoch home in August of last year.

“The fire department on that day, they condemned our house. They wouldn’t let us live here because it was too dangerous,” said Palmer, who was displaced from her home for a few weeks.

As the family tries to rebuild, they were recently victims of theft.

“My husband and I, my kids are right here connected to the garage, sleeping. It’s infuriating,” said Palmer. “If they would have knocked on my door and said 'Hey, we are hungry, can you help us?' I would have in a heartbeat.”

On Monday, she walked into her garage to find her freezer chest open, most of her frozen goods gone, the backdoor to the garage propped open and evidence of theft left behind.

“There was also a roast on the floor right in front of my husband’s toolbox,” said Palmer, who estimates the amount of food taken amounted to more than $500.

Palmer said more than 10 packs of sausages, nearly 10 packs of pork chops, some frozen chicken and more than 10 roasts were taken, along with other items.

While food is replaceable, the way the Palmers went about filling their storage chest involved a lot of love and care. The family has a backyard farm where they raise animals, including pigs. The pigs were butchered and the pork had been stored in the freezer chest. The reason they put so much care into their own food is largely in part because of their daughter.

“We raise the pigs because she can’t eat beef or even get traces of beef. It just makes her extremely sick,” said Palmer, whose daughter Gabi has a rare deficiency that doesn’t allow her to digest sugar and starch. “We’ve slowly healed her stomach and body over time, but she’s unfortunately very allergic to beef and milk.”

Samantha shared her recent theft in a post on social media which has been shared hundreds of times. Their surveillance camera didn’t catch anyone coming and going from their garage because one of the views was obstructed. Enoch Police were made aware of the situation and took a report for "theft and burglary." If anyone has information, they’re encouraged to contact Enoch Police.

Palmer says she doesn’t want any handouts. She and her family have been through a lot in the last few years between the flooding and now this recent theft.

“I wish that they would have come to me first instead of stealing from me and my family and my kids. I mean, you literally took probably six months of food off my dinner table,” said Palmer. “There are horrible people in the world, like whoever stole this, but there are 10 times more amazing generous people willing to help in any way that they can.”

Oddly enough, nearby Cedar City Police also took a report from a resident mentioning that someone had stolen frozen goods from a freezer at a garage on Sunday as well. No other information was readily available.