Christmas panic set in after package meant for Rochester, Ind. ended up in Rochester, NY

Package mistakenly sent to Rochester NY

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Our investigative team does hard-hitting stories every day. But every now and then, a situation comes up that is so unusual, we use their skills to solve the problem.

That’s what happened when we got an email about a Christmas package that got delivered to the wrong home. Not just the wrong home. The wrong part of the country.

“Yesterday I was in a panic mode,” Tom DeJohn said from his home in San Diego, California.
He was panicked because the tracking on the package he mailed from Southern California said it arrived but the family it was destined for in Indiana told him it never showed up.

“So I looked at the receipt and I was like – Oh God!” he said. “I made a mistake.”
The house number, street name and city was the name. But instead of Rochester, Indiana on the package label it said Rochester, New York. DeJohn says it happened in the rush of sending packages to family here and the Midwest. 

“You don’t think about how many Rochesters there are. But there are quite a few.”
So, in the spirit of the season, I went to where the package was delivered, a home next to Roberts Wesleyan University. It is the home of two retired Rochester police officers.

“We got the box the other day and I couldn’t figure out who it was from,” said retired cop John McHale.
I got McHale to talk to DeJohn on Facetime.

“And then 10 minutes later Channel 10 is at the door!” McHale said.
We all agreed that I would take the package.

McHale: “I’m glad the package is getting delivered where it’s got to go.”

DeJohn: “Merry Christmas!”

McHale: “You too.”
McHale carried the box to my car.

Brean: “Thanks for taking care of it.”

McHale: “You’re welcome.”
And I carried it into the News10NBC station for safe-keeping.

“Let me show you what we got,” I told DeJohn as I reached to the package on a zoom call. “So here it is.”

“That’s it!” he said.
Tuesday, I took it to FedEx at Twelve Corners in Brighton, DeJohn paid, we double checked the label and got the box on its way to Rochester, Indiana.

“I’m elated. Surprised. Happy. I was trying to figure out how to replace all the things and get another package out for him,” DeJohn said getting emotional. “Right now, I’m grateful to you and I’m grateful to the people that got the package. It went to the right people. So, it’s good to see good people in the world.”

The package is supposed to arrive in Rochester, on Thursday.

There are 21 Rochesters in the United States. We’re the biggest with 210,000 people. The smallest appears to be is Rochester, Kansas with 210 people.

When I asked DeJohn to describe what was in the package, he said Christmas gifts for the parents of one of his friends that included San Diego Padres baseball sweatshirts, some Trader Joe’s coffee and some candy from California.