TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Police say every year as people start shopping, criminals start planning. They say thieves broke into a Toledo home and stole gifts from under the tree late Sunday night.
Toledo police say this is their first case of stolen presents this year, and it has them looking to get ahead of the problem.
"A lot of times they'll kick the door in, go in real fast and grab the gifts and go. It's a whole Grinch thing going on out there," said Sgt. Joe Heffernan.
Police say they are unsure if one person acted alone or with help. The owner returned home to find someone had busted in and made off with the presents.
"A lot of people spend a lot of money on some of these Christmas gifts. This last incident there was things like Xboxes, things that cost several hundred dollars," said Heffernan.
According to police, thieves sometimes case neighborhoods and homes to map out where they can snag the most.
"A lot of times, what they'll do is knock to see if anybody is home. And if somebody does come to the door, they'll make up some kind of excuse, like they'll ask for directions, ask for a drink of water," explained Heffernan.
If a person is not home, thieves break in. If a person is home, it still gives thieves a peak at the gifts.
Police refer to this crime as an opportunity, but homeowners can take away the opportunity by moving the tree, keeping presents tucked away and being alert. Homeowners should call police if they see suspicious activity.