Stolen Christmas gifts returned to family

FOX 35 News at 5 p.m.

- The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is in the middle of an active criminal investigation. They are actively following up on leads and searching for two suspects. Suspects who some might say literally stole Christmas from one Orlando family.  

However, there is a bright side to all of this. In fact, you might call it a Christmas miracle.  The victim told FOX 35 he shot cell phone video on the Dec. 22 as he followed the thieves who stole two neighboring cars plus almost a dozen Christmas gifts from his family.

"You can actually see the wrapping paper that was hanging out," the victim said as he showed Fox 35 the video.

The victim, who doesn't want to be identified, also showed FOX35 surveillance video. The victim said that surveillance video shows the thieves in the neighborhood that night.

"This was definitely random," He said. "They were checking all the car handles in the neighborhood."

He heard the closed garage door open around 3am. He said about a dozen wrapped Christmas gifts were inside his father's unlocked car.

The victim said "They had broken into our car, opened the garage door. They were stealing the presents out of his car."

The family says inside a lot of the wrapped boxes are quite a few homemade gifts for the kids, worth a few hundred dollars. They said at one point, they thought Christmas was ruined.

"I was definitely angry.," The victim said. "Angry at them stealing kids presents. Angry that they broke into my house. It's unnerving."

Orlando Police, and Orange County Sheriff's incident reports outline his claim.

"Our sense of security is kind of violated," He added.

Vindication came Monday night, when Orlando police got a tip from the Orange County Sheriff's Office. They found the two stolen cars, and the stolen Christmas gifts inside.

"We're very thankful for whoever gave the tip," He said. "That's nice that our neighbors got their cars back. That's a little bit bigger deal than the presents, but we're thankful for that. We're thankful for the Sheriff's and the police for following up."

A Christmas miracle, he said. Even after two Grinch's stole Christmas. Now, Deputies are searching for them.

"I just hope this maybe makes them think twice about doing this again," The victim said about the thieves.

The family said they’ve got a lot of joy now, and they’re going to get together and have their own family Christmas now. If you have information, you’re asked to call the Orange Co. Sheriff’s Office Crime Line.

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