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How the south Sacramento Grinch tried to steal Christmas | News

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How the south Sacramento Grinch tried to steal Christmas

It's not uncommon for burglaries to spike around the holiday season.

The Sacramento County Sheriff Office received 12 reports of burglaries in the five days leading up to Christmas in South Sacramento neighborhoods, and that's just in the areas they patrol.

One community is coming together to save a south Sacramento family's Christmas after their home was burglarized.

On Tuesday evening, Kristen Gregory came home to everything ransacked and torn apart.

Gregory says all her doors and windows were locked but thieves got in by popping the screens off the windows.

While most people are spending Christmas opening presents, her family is picking up the pieces of a house that no longer feels like home.

"It's a complete violation," Gregory said. "The only way I can describe it: I'm afraid to be in my house and I'm afraid to leave my house. I'm afraid they're going to come back. If I leave, what if they come back? What will I come home to again?"

The real life "Grinches" who went through every inch and corner of Kristen's home took expensive electronics, jewelry, clothes, shoes, purses and even the gifts underneath the tree.

"Somebody was in my house and went through everything. They know us, our name, where we live," Gregory said. "Your home is like your safe place so to not feel safe in your home is unnerving."

Times have been tough for this single mother of two, who hoped to buy a new house next year.

Her oldest son, Darrion, had planned on surprising her with his college savings -- thousands of dollars -- passed down from his father who died shortly after his 2nd birthday. That money is also now gone.

"It's more than money...they took a lot of sentimental things that I'll never be able to replace," Gregory said. "Even the money, it was money to them, but it was saved for 18 years for my son who decided to use it to help me, to help us."

When their community heard what happened, they sprang into action with "Operation Save Christmas."

A family friend created a GoFundMe account, with a goal relatively small compared to what was taken from the family.

Two-thirds of the goal was reached in just 2 days. Friends and strangers dropped off presents so the kids wouldn't have to wake up empty-handed on Christmas.

"I'm really really grateful for the generosity. I cannot...thank you does not do it justice. For the outpouring we've received from everybody is really remarkable. That's the true meaning of Christmas," said an emotional Gregory.

And that's something no Grinch could ever steal.

Christmas Day will always be, just as long as we have we.

Welcome Christmas, while we stand. Heart to heart, and hand in hand.