Police are searching for two suspects who stole a package containing Miss America crowns from outside a Mesa home Wednesday.
The crowns were to be awarded at a Valley pageant on Saturday.
Police said the man and woman stole the package around 11:45 a.m. from the victim's residence near Lindsay Road and Southern Avenue.
“I cried a little bit, honestly,” said Whitney Ford, who had the box full of crowns stolen from her front porch.
Ford is the executive director of the pageant that crowns Miss Phoenix, Miss Scottsdale, and Miss Maricopa County. The winners compete for the Miss Arizona title. Miss Arizona competes to be crowned Miss America.
The crowns are reportedly stamped with "Official MAO" and are composed of Swarovski crystals.
“[The contestants] are dreaming of that shiny hat,” Ford said of the importance of having the crowns for the winners.
Ford started a GoFund Me page and raised enough money to pay for new crowns, which should arrive in time for Saturday’s pageant, Ford said.
The first suspect is described as a Hispanic female in her 20s, between 5 feet 4 and 5 feet 7 inches tall, with a thin build and long black hair. The male suspect is also Hispanic, and he was seen wearing a baseball cap.
The pair's vehicle is described as an older model dark green van, possibly a Ford Aerostar, with an unknown license plate.
Ford believes the thieves were trailing the UPS truck that delivered the crowns, because the box was stolen so quickly after the delivery.
A neighbor heard the delivery truck arrive and watched the suspects’ van then leave the neighborhood, Ford said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 480-644-2211.