A mail carrier saved Tara Burleson’s wedding after chasing down a man who stole a package off the bride-to-be’s porch. The thief threw a rock at the carrier and got away but dropped the package.
Burleson probably would not have realized until it was too late that two big LED candles were missing from her wedding decor.
A steady stream of parcels has been delivered to her house in north Modesto since she and her fiancé moved there in October. They have been furnishing their home, as well as buying decorations for the wedding and gifts for the bridesmaids. Burleson said she had 12 boxes delivered to her home one day.
On Monday, a thief took notice of one particularly large box containing the candles, which each cost $80. Fortunately for Burleson, her U.S. Postal Service carrier saw the theft.
The carrier started following the man in her truck, asking him what he was doing and taking pictures of him to give to police.
She didn’t want her name used in this story for fear of retaliation; the man threw a rock at her, after all.
“I kept in my vehicle and followed him and said, ‘Where are you going?’ ‘What are you doing?’ and then finally, 13 houses later, he dropped the box on the garbage cans,” the carrier said. She grabbed the parcel and took a few photos of the man before he ran down the street.
The carrier continued her route, but then saw the man again a few blocks away.
She said she thought she would get a few more close-ups of him, so “I made a U-turn. I snapped a picture of him and he got a little further down and I snapped another and that’s when he proceeded to pick up a rock.”
Mike Maguin, who lives nearby, said he saw the man running down the street followed by the mail carrier in her truck. As the man ran by Maguin, he heard him yelling profanities at the carrier, then saw him pick up the football-sized rock and throw it at her before disappearing into a neighbor’s backyard.
He went to see if she was all right and was inspired by what she told him.
“I just thought that was so incredibly brave of her,” Maguin said. “People should know we have really good people working for us.”
The carrier left a note in Burleson’s box explaining what had happened and where she could pick up her package. It wasn’t even a parcel she had delivered; it was previously dropped off by FedEx. The carrier said she was just doing what was right.
“It makes me so mad because we have had a lot of trouble (with theft),” she said. “It is just so prevalent.”
Burleson found the carrier on her route Wednesday and thanked her.
“I think it’s amazing,” Burleson said. “I think we live in a day and age where people see things and they don’t say anything, and I think that is awesome that she (did this) for us.”