Porch Pirate Steals Books Meant For Prison Inmates

Jun 4, 2021, 5:25 AM | Updated: 5:27 am

SANDY, Utah – A Sandy man is hoping for help from the public after a porch pirate took off with seven packages full of books meant for inmates at the Utah State Prison.

Elliott Morris said the books mean a lot to the inmates, who do not have a lot of access to reading material.

“They mean everything. These are people who don’t get a lot of mail in general, especially outside of family, but then really want connection; not only with each other and the reading group that we form but with ideas and the outside world and other perspectives,” Morris explained.

Morris volunteers his time to lead a book club at the prison through the University of Utah’s Prison Education Project. He is frustrated that someone walked away with donations meant to help.

“I woke up and looked at my cam, my door cam, and someone brought a bucket, stuffed it in and took them home,” Morris said.

This still from Elliott Morris’ doorbell camera shows the alleged thief taken a package from his property. (Elliott Morris)

His friends and family bought the books planning to donate them.

“It would be one thing if it were like my shoes or my kitchenware that I ordered, but like these are donations from my friends and family,” Morris explained.

Morris hopes someone might recognize the thief, though he admits it could be a long shot. The man is seen wearing a hoodie, which only comes off part of his face for a split second.

“His pants were falling down as he was running away,” Morris said.

Elliott Morris discovered books that friends and family had donated to a program for prison inmates were stolen Monday morning. (Mike Anderson/KSL TV)

While inmates are not often thought of as people in need of help, Morris believes every bit of effort toward rehabilitation matters.

“They are still people,” Morris explained. “And study after study shows that the more education people inside prison; students and readers get, the less likely they will return to prison, (and) obviously quality of life goes up.”

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Porch Pirate Steals Books Meant For Prison Inmates