Another family has fallen victim to a pre-Christmas robbery – Etoya Buchanan said this was the first year she and her family had actually finished all their shopping before December, all they had to do was open their presents, but someone got there first.
Buchanan's 13-year-old daughter with special needs has been recovering from surgery since October.
"Everybody that knows me knows I deal with my daughter 24/," she said.
After visiting her daughter in the hospital Sunday afternoon she was devastated to learn her home had been broken into.
"When we first came in the first thing we saw was the tree half bent over, lights were off, presents everywhere on the floor," she recounted.
Thieves not only unwrapped all the presents and took what they wanted, they also made off with off $250 in gift cards hung like ornaments and stole anything of value including a flat screen TV, Playstation 3 and all jewelry in the home.
"I feel like we spent one moment, one moment away from home to have a joyous Christmas moment with my sister while she's in the hospital and we come home and our whole world is kind of shattered," Kendra Williams, Buchanan's older daughter, said.
This isn't the first time burglars have taken the joy out of Christmas this week -- on Saturday, someone broke into a St. Paul apartment and stole wrapped presents from under the tree.
Earlier this month, a security camera caught someone take a package off a front porch in Edina.
While it's unlikely there is an actual Grinch stealing Christmas, there are certainly a number of criminals who don't take off the holidays.
Williams said thieves not only stole their Christmas presents, but took something more valuable: Their sense of security.
"It's like, how do you start over from stuff like this? How do you feel safe again in your place?" she asked.
Police say many holiday thefts are crimes of opportunity. Parking lots are a prime target for thieves looking for valuables in plain sight. To avoid being a victim, put your shopping bags in the trunk of your car and if you do shop online, make sure you require a signature for deliveries.
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