KENNEWICK, Wash.-- It's the season of giving, but unfortunately some are taking. Thieves are breaking in and clearing out the gifts from under people's Christmas trees.
A Kennewick woman was shocked to come home to a ransacked house.
Under the Christmas tree at the Johnston home, there won't be any presents this year. Burglars took them all, leaving nothing but the toy train tracks at the base of the tree, which they broke.
Angela Johnston couldn't believe it when she came home Friday night to find her home ripped apart. And they didn't just take the presents. They also stole sentimental items.
"My camera because it had pictures of my grandma who just passed away and the ring that she gave me," Johnston said.
The thieves broke in the back door and rummaged through the house taking everything of value.
Kennewick Police said this time of year when people are bringing in gifts or spending time away from their homes, it creates crimes of opportunity.
"If you break into a house and there's Christmas presents there then you can get a lot of things very quickly. So we need to be diligent to make sure that any suspicious people or vehicles or anything like that are called in right away," said Cpl. Todd Dronen, Kennewick Police Department.
Johnston said now she doesn't feel safe spending this holiday at home.
"I should be in my home with our Christmas tree with our children. And I don't even feel like I can be here," Johnston said.
The burglars took things, but the bigger loss was this family's sense of home.
"It's like they ripped it all away and I can't get it back," Johnston said.
Corporal Dronen said it's important to speak with neighbors that you trust to keep an eye on each others homes for strange activity.
He also says posting to social media sites that you'll be gone over the holidays is like advertising your home will be vacant and more easily broken into.
He recommends keeping presents out of sight from windows, which might draw attention to your home.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 2:40 AM EDT2013-05-21 06:40:56 GMT
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