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Suspected Grinch accused of criminal re-gifting

The Grinch who stole Christmas has been arrested, according to authorities.

Detectives at the sheriff's station in Lomita arrested a San Pedro man Wednesday who is accused of stealing packages from the doorsteps of unsuspecting residents. Many of the boxes contained holiday gifts and the suspect allegedly re-wrapped at least one of the gifts and addressed it to his mother.

"Especially disturbing was the numerous Christmas cards recovered among the stolen mail," Sgt. Mark Moffett said in a news release.

Michael Wieczorek, 42, was arrested in connection with a theft in Rancho Palos Verdes. When police searched him, they said they found narcotics, credit cards and identifications that did not belong to him. He also had a Kershaw-brand knife that was reported missing in a separate case, detectives said.

On searching Wieczorek's home, police found thousands of dollars in property believed to have been stolen from front porches or illegally obtained using other people's credit cards. 

Additionally, mail from throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties was discovered. But one item in particular stood out to police: a set of pajamas with a "distinctive red snowflake pattern" that had been reported stolen. Detectives recovered the stolen pajamas from underneath Wieczorek's Christmas tree, wrapped in holiday wrapping and addressed to his mother. The tag attached read: "To Mom, Love: Michael."

Wieczorek was released from custody after posting $20,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear at Superior Court in Torrance on Jan. 10.

Detectives from the sheriff’s station in Lomita are providing an opportunity for victims of the thefts to reclaim their property. The recovered property will be on display at the sheriff’s station, 26123 Narbonne Ave., Lomita, on Friday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Any questions about the display should be directed to sheriff's Det. Sgt. Mark Moffett or Det. David Peterson at (310) 539-1661.

ALSO:

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-- Angel Jennings

 
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