Grinch steals Christmas presents from Westside family

Couple, children come home to find all their gifts, electronics stolen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There's a neighborhood crime alert on Jacksonville's Westside, where a Grinch stole Christmas from one family, and it appears he may have had some help.

On Thursday, a couple and their children returned to their home on Shindler Crossing Drive to find all their electronics stolen, along with hundreds of dollars' worth of gifts that were sitting under the Christmas tree.

When Lisa Moulton; her boyfriend, Kirkland Jones; and their children came home Thursday afternoon, they first discovered the front door had been pried open.

"Somebody had crowbarred my front door," Moulton said. "It was split all the way down my door."

She then went inside, realizing the place had been ransacked and all their valuables had been stolen. 

“My TVs, DVD player, kids' Christmas gifts -- everything," Moulton said.

Jones added, "They took all the big boxes. Everything. All the stuff that made the tree look nice."

The robbers not only went into the children's closet to steal shoes, they even pulled up the bed off the frame to look for valuables.

In the parents' bedroom, the robbers flipped up the bed, went through all the drawers and stole valuable jewelry and a big-screen TV that was located on a dresser.

Given the number of items stolen, including large TVs throughout the house, the couple believes there was more than one burglar involved. They also believe crooks may have been staking out the house. 

Neighbors said a suspicious gold-colored, late-model, four-door Buick had been parked on various areas of the dead-end block.

Before News4Jax arrived to talk to the couple, Jones had followed the suspicious vehicle to a nearby gas station, but he then lost track of the car. 

“The guy drove off real fast. Like, I wanted to chase him again, but I didn't," Jones said. "I just wanted to get the tag number because my neighbors were already talking about it.”

The police now have the tag number of that vehicle and are working to see if it leads them to any suspects.

Meanwhile, the victims said they no longer feel safe in that neighborhood and will likely not renew their lease. 

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith explained how you can protect yourself from a Christmas Grinch. 

He said this is the time of year when burglaries increase, so the best thing to do is set your alarm system every time you leave the house.  And if you’re not used to doing that, get used to it.

If you don’t have an alarm system, Smith said, now is the best time to go out and purchase one. 

In this case, the home did not have an alarm system, but it’s the next item on the family's list.

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