Layton family pleading for return of irreplaceable Halloween candy bowl

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LAYTON — A Layton family is hoping for the return of a special bowl they set on their porch for trick-or-treaters that they say was stolen. It wasn’t enough of a theft to report to police, but the bowl is priceless to that family.

The family lives in a neighborhood south of Woodward Park, and they know whoever took the bowl doesn’t know the meaning behind it.

Still on a Halloween high Tuesday, Sadie, 4, bounced off the walls and babbled about how she was a “giant chicken.” Her dad, Zac Cavanaugh, pulled up a video of Sadie Cavanaugh dancing in her trick-or-treating chicken costume. Sadie watched, laughing as she cracked herself up.

Her mom and dad didn’t want to miss those moments with their daughter while trick-or-treating, so like many families, they set out a bowl full of candy and a sign telling kids to take a few pieces.

The bowl was a large metal bin and very unique-looking.

“Almost like a farm bucket with some wooden handles, and little Halloween decorations on it like cats, witches hats and things,” Zac Cavanaugh said, describing the bowl.

But when the three returned home, the bucket was no longer there. A candy trail leading out to the road became the only evidence the Cavanaughs would find of the theft because their Ring doorbell didn’t pick it up.

In one video, kids are seen stepping up onto the porch to take candy. In the next, a child walks up and the bowl is gone.

Doorbell camera video shows trick-or-treaters at the Cavanaugh home in Layton Monday.
Doorbell camera video shows trick-or-treaters at the Cavanaugh home in Layton Monday. (Photo: Cavanaugh family)

While the disappearing candy bowl is disappointing for anyone, for the Cavanaughs it was a blow to the gut, Zac Cavanaugh said.

“She (Sadie), unfortunately, never got to meet her grandparents,” he said of his wife’s parents. “We were about four or five months pregnant when they passed.”

Sadie Cavanaugh came to know the Halloween candy bin as belonging to the late grandma and grandpa she can see in a picture hanging on the wall. For the couple, it was a way to keep the memory alive by passing out candy in the very bowl Zac Cavanaugh’s wife’s parents used to pass out candy.

Zac Cavanaugh said Sadie Cavanaugh’s grandparents passed away very suddenly, and this was the only Halloween decoration they have from them that the family is able to use.

Zac Cavanaugh and his daughter, Sadie. Someone took an irreplaceable candy bowl from the family's doorstep Monday night.
Zac Cavanaugh and his daughter, Sadie. Someone took an irreplaceable candy bowl from the family’s doorstep Monday night. (Photo: Lauren Steinbrecher, KSL-TV)

He knows it didn’t disappear with malice.

“I know what’s going through the head. You think like, ‘Oh man, look at all this candy! I got it!'” he said of what the kids or teens who took it must have been thinking.

Whoever stole the bowl can keep the candy, but the family is hoping their treasured Halloween tradition isn’t forever gone.

“I would just like to have it back. My wife would like to have it back, especially,” Zac Cavanaugh said.

Sadie Cavanaugh piped in, “And I would like to have it back, too.”

In addition to asking for that bowl’s return, Zac Cavanaugh is urging parents to talk to their kids about taking things off of people’s porches, and for those who set stuff out on Halloween to think about the value of what they’re putting on the porch.


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Lauren Steinbrecher

Lauren Steinbrecher is an Emmy award-winning reporter and multimedia journalist who joined KSL in December 2021.

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