UTICA, N.Y. – It may be the season of giving, but delivering stolen gifts doesn’t necessarily reflect the spirit of the holidays.
Utica police are searching for two suspects who stole about 30 wreaths from Chester’s Flower Shop over the weekend, and left them on the doorsteps of local residents. Each wreath was worth $20 - $50 a piece.
Bill Waszkiewicz owns Chester’s along with his sister, Laurie, who says she noticed wreaths were missing when she arrive at the shop on Saturday morning.
Police reviewed Waszkiewicz’s security footage showing two people hopping the fence and stealing the wreaths.
Waszkiewicz says he thought the thieves were likely going to sell the wreaths and collect the money, but after investigating, police found the wreaths in unexpected places.
"Eventually we found out that they had been scattered of the porches through York Ave., Capital Ave., Maple Street -- down the road," said Waszkiewicz.
Police were able to recover some of the wreaths by asking the nearby residents to return the stolen property.
Waszkiewicz says although many of the wreaths were returned, he still wants the thieves to be held accountable for their actions.
"You work hard, you work long hours, that kind of a thing just doesn’t feel good," said Waszkiewicz.
He says although the police continue to search for the suspects, he’s not sure if he will pursue prosecution.