Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thieves steal Christmas from family

Updated: Thursday, 23 Dec 2010, 9:46 PM CST
Published : Thursday, 23 Dec 2010, 9:46 PM CST

AUSTIN (KXAN) - Just three days before Christmas, criminals tried to steal the holiday from a Pflugerville family. Thieves ransacked the home and stole Christmas gifts from under the family's tree.

"They had taken the gifts and pretty much torn open every gift under the tree," said Officer Michelle Oneil.

Oneil and her partner, Officer Aaron Herrera, learned the family had a 4 year old daughter and a child on the way.

"It kind of hit home to see another child's gifts just ripped completely open," said Officer Herrera.

The two officers enlisted the help of fellow officer Jared Bruno.

"They were talking to me about what had happened and how they felt about this call and it kind of struck the same nerve with me," said Officer Bruno, who immediately began sending emails to family and friends asking for donations for the family.

In just 24 hours, the three officers collected more than $1,000 in donations and gifts for the family which they delivered on Thursday morning.

"For us it was just, you know, we felt so horrible for this family, because we all have families and giving presents and getting presents and all that and they weren't going to be able to do that this year," said Officer Bruno.

The officers also arranged for a holiday meal for the family. No arrests have been made in the case. The family did not want to be identified because the victims believe they may have been targeted because they were out of town.

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