Police Dispatch

Reduce, Reuse, Rip Off

"Thank you for recycling your things"

San Xavier Beat

Jan. 22, 4:16 p.m.

A family came home from some errands to find that someone had stolen two big, valuable and perfectly functioning appliances, then left a note expressing gratitude for the victims' effective facilitation of the theft, said a Pima County Sheriff's Department report.

A married couple living on the southeast side told sheriff's deputies that after they'd been gone for less than four hours, they went into their carport to find they were now missing a large-capacity Kenmore refrigerator-freezer unit, as well as a 40-gallon General Electric water heater. Near where these items had once sat, there was a handwritten note reading, "Thank you for recycling your things. Here is a phone number if you want to donate more."

The victims showed deputies white marks on their carport floor where it appeared the appliances had been laboriously dragged out without a dolly.

The wife thought the handwriting in the note "looked like a teenager's" but called the number anyway, and although the line just kept ringing, it was a working phone number. In fact, when she tried calling again, she said, a young man's voice answered before hanging up upon hearing her speak—so it seemed the thieves had actually left their real number, whether out of recklessness or pure ineptitude, and their note hadn't been left with snide irony but as a sincere attempt at deceit.

Unfortunately, deputies couldn't find a name on record for the number. They took the note as evidence, gave the couple a victims'-rights pamphlet and advised them to call the Sheriff's Department again if any further information came up (not to repeatedly call and harass the thief who'd left his number, as tempting as that might be).

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