RIVERVIEW, Fla. (FOX 13) - Around the holidays, there is an increase in porch pirate sightings, but there is also an increase in giving back.
Earlier this week, Noel Rivera became a victim when two thieves stole packages of porches along Summer Springs Drive in Riverview. The crime occurred in the middle of the day, but the suspects were captured on home surveillance video from at least two homes.
He said the female suspects took five packages from his porch, all Christmas gifts for his children. When his church, River of Life Christian Center, found out, some members took matters into their own hands.
"25hrs (sic) exactly after 2 ladies thought it would be ok to steal Christmas presents from my front door, my church family shows up at my front door unannounced showing Christ's love," he wrote on his Facebook page. "Christ is the reason for the season. These are the things that need to be remembered during this time and always."
Noel shared surveillance video, showing his church family bringing new gifts to his front porch to replace the stolen ones. He explained he now has diapers and gifts for both of his sons.
"I was in shock," he explained to FOX 13, "and quickly called my wife and told her to look at the cameras."
He said their kind gesture came a day after the theft. Noel said he hasn't heard any updates from law enforcement. Both suspects were described as white females, between the ages of 30 and 40, and between 5'5 to 5'8 feet tall. One has long brown hair with blonde highlights, weighs between 140 to 150 pounds, and was seen wearing a black and gray long-sleeved shirt, dark blue jeans and white sneakers.
Detectives said they may be traveling in a dark-colored Volvo, possibly an XC90. The duo may be responsible for more thefts in the area.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 813-247-8200. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay at 1-800-873-8477 or online at www.crimestopperstb.com.