Porch thieves make off with $5,100 in medical supplies meant for Saskatoon boy with rare condition


A Saskatoon family is at a loss after thousands of dollars of medical bandages “essential” to their sons health were stolen from their porch on Tuesday.

The bandages were for Leo, who is almost two years old. He was diagnosed very early with epidermolysis bullosa, a rare skin condition that causes his skin to break and blister at even the slightest bit of friction. The bandages are used to keep Leo “fully wrapped,” which helps ensure his delicate skin stays safe.

“These are very specialized bandages that are very costly,” she said. 

Crystal Leptich said the family was expecting and order of $5,100 worth of bandages, so when they arrived home to find only one box, they were surprised. She said it’s not uncommon for things to be back-ordered or delayed, but when she checked her doorbell camera, she was “shocked” by what she saw. 

The incident happens in seconds. Two women approach the boxes and then, one after the other, grab an armful of the boxes and leave in a waiting van.

Crystal Leptich says she was saddened when she saw the video of the theft, as she worries the bandages, which are essential for her son, will be thrown in the trash. (Ashleigh Mattern/CBC)

“My mouth just dropped,” she said. “I just felt like I was in disbelief.”

She said she couldn’t believe someone would commit such a crime in broad daylight, noting she was also saddened that the items stolen were medical supplies.

“Chances are, whoever opens those boxes is not going to see the worth of the bandages that are in there,” she said. “So I just have this visualization of $5,000 worth of essential supplies getting thrown in the trash.” 

Adam and Crystal Leptich with their son Leo Leptich, who has a rare genetic skin condition called epidermolysis bullosa. (Trevor Bothorel/CBC)

Leptich said the bandages help Leo’s injuries heal while preventing infection and further injuries. 

“They’re pretty much the most crucial piece of our care regimen for Leo,” she said.

A Saskatoon family shared video that shows two people taking packages from their home that contained bandages for their son’s skin condition. 0:19

She said the family does have the supplies they to make sure Leo is safe for the time being and that the bandage company has reached out about replacing the order.

Kelsie Fraser, a spokeswoman with the Saskatoon Police Service, said specific stats on thefts from porches aren’t kept. 

“Anecdotally the the risk of having packages stolen off your porch is increasing,” Fraser said. 

She said this is something people should be concerned about as we move into the holiday shopping season. 

Fraser said there are several ways people can protect themselves, including requesting a signature on the delivery, having the package sent to a post office or purchasing a secure package box. 

She said police are investigating the bandage theft are asking whoever took the packages to return them. 

“Finding the people that took them would also be a goal of ours as well,” she said.

A video of the theft posted to Facebook has been shared online more than 4,000 times.

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