SACRAMENTO - Thieves know valuables are being sent by mail and delivery services, and they're targeting the Roseville community.
Roseville Police Department spokesperson Dee Dee Gunther said the department has received several such theft reports since Monday, Dec. 2.
A resident reported a community mailbox was pried open on the 2700 block of Courtside Drive about 2 a.m. that Monday. The resident said there was a small white pick-up with two males inside. Responding police officers found some mail inside the mailbox. It was unknown how much mail was taken.
Overnight on Dec. 3, someone stole an animated sea lion holiday decoration from the front yard of a home in the 1100 block of Hawthorne Loop.
"They just took it. They unplugged it and took it," resident Amanda Van Pelt said. "The seal was just gone!"
Van Pelt posted flyers all over her neighborhood. She's asking anyone who knows anything to email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Seriously, why would you? I always thought Christmas ornaments were so vulnerable, but people never take them because it's a Christmas ornament," Van Pelt said. "Why would you take a Christmas ornament?"
Sometime between 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, and 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6, someone broke into a community mailbox at Coach Whip Way and Buckboard Way. It wasn't known if any mail was stolen.
That Friday about 1 p.m., a witness reported seeing a woman making off with a package that had just been delivered by UPS to the front door of a home on the 1600 block of Old Hart Ranch Road, Gunther said. The thief was described as white, in her 20s or 30s, with brown hair and wearing a red ski jacket. She drove a light green sedan.
Friday overnight into Saturday morning, Dec. 7, a thief took a manger and a donkey from a Nativity scene in the yard of a home on the 500 block of Hovey Way.
But Tuesday afternoon, the manger and donkey surprisingly reappeared.
"We've been praying. We hoped someone would have a change of heart and would return them," Eva Fogarty said.
Fogarty's granddaughter spotted a group of girls fishing the manger and donkey out of a neighbor's bushes across the street. Two of the girls ran over and dropped the items off in Fogarty's front yard.
"I don't know if it's a practical joke," Fogarty said. "I just feel sorry because I don't think they understand the meaning of Christmas."
Regardless, she and her family are grateful for the safe return of the items.
"It's a real joy to have them back," Fogarty said. "I'm glad they're back because now Baby Jesus will now have a place to lay on the 25th."