’Tisn’t the season to be a thief. The only thing worse than finding coal in your stocking is finding poop in an iPhone box.

If that sentence doesn’t make sense to you, it’s probably because you missed the holiday news out of Minneapolis. A man frustrated with seeing his delivery packages stolen set out ingenious traps: Boxes containing turds. And you thought getting Yahtzee from your great aunt Enid was a crappy gift.

When his surveillance camera caught a kid stealing a package off his front steps, the man boxed up his dog’s doo-doo as a smelly surprise for the next thief who dared darken his doorway. Multiple poop packages left his porch in the hands of unsuspecting robbers, the Star Tribune reported, including one that disappeared a mere 90 minutes after he set it out. Not since Kenny G released his Christmas album had anyone seen crap masquerading as gifts snapped up at such an alarming rate.

It was a tough Christmas for many on Santa’s naughty list. In Massachusetts, a homeless woman picked the wrong day to try stealing $1,000 in goods from Target. She attempted her heist during a Shop with a Cop event for kids that brought 50 officers to the store. She’d have been better off stealing presents in Whoville.

In Nebraska, an elderly couple making their way from California to Vermont were busted with 60 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop. The octogenarians claimed the pot was for Christmas presents. This either makes them liars or the coolest great-grandparents in America.

Back in Minneapolis, the man who baits his trap with crap became a hero to neighbors who’d had packages stolen. He began plotting revenge after a kid swiped from his front porch a padded envelope that contained a $10 watchband.

He decided to teach the next thief a lesson. “I thought I could have fun with this,” he told the Star Tribune. “I thought, what could I do to disappoint these kids the most?” Give them Yahtzee, of course.

No, his answer was to fill an iPhone box with poop, write a scolding note and place the bait on his porch. The package was gone in two days, so he replaced it with another, and then another and another. As the holidays approached, the packages were stolen faster, often by adults jumping out of their cars and taking off with the goods.

“The first one was an elaborate prank, but it was happening too often and too quickly. I got lazier with the notes,” the man said. “I couldn’t keep up with the demand.” You know things are getting weird in America when a poop prankster can’t produce fast enough.

While not employing this man’s scatological flair, police have begun using a similar approach, placing GPS devices in decoy packages to track thieves. Investigators also have been known to place GPS chips in suspicious packages at post offices to nail drug dealers. Apparently that’s easier than pulling over every 80-year-old couple driving through Nebraska.

Christmas crooks, consider yourselves warned. That Priority Mail box you’re considering pilfering might contain some real crap. Or the latest version of Yahtzee. But I repeat myself.

That store you’re thinking about shoplifting from might be full of cops. And the nice young man who pulled you over in Nowhere, Neb., might not buy your story that your 60 pounds of pot are Christmas gifts for great-grandchildren suffering from glaucoma.

That couple went to jail on felony drug charges. The woman who tried to leave the Massachusetts Target store without paying for $1,000 in merchandise was charged with larceny and resisting arrest. A court summons isn’t what anyone wants to find in the ol’ stocking.

Remember, thieves, if you resort to holiday theft, you just might find yourself in deep doo-doo.


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