FROSTPROOF – Is Polk County on the way to becoming the Grinch capital of Central Florida, filled with Christmas-wrecking thieves who are stealing the toys right out from under the hands of innocent kids?
On Wednesday, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office sent out a release asking for the public’s help finding a woman who broke into a Hungry Howie’s Pizza restaurant in Polk City and stole a donation box that was accepting toys for the annual Toys for Tots Drive — essentially robbing children of gifts they would have received this Christmas. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said it was such a mean-spirited act that the woman deserved to spend Christmas night in jail for it.
Today, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office got contacted about an even more despicable act – a break-in at the home of a family whose Christmas presents were stolen while they were out dealing with a death in the family.
“Sadly, we are working another ‘Grinch’ case,” Judd said. “What kind of a person steals children’s Christmas presents?”
Deputies got a call from the homeowner, and are now asking for the public’s help in figuring out who is responsible for a residential burglary that happened in Frostproof. Someone actually stole Christmas presents from under the family Christmas tree.
Sometime between noon and 9:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 21, while the homeowner was away at a relative’s home dealing with a death in the family, her home on Hopson Road in Frostproof got burglarized.
Someone got into the home through a window, and stole two televisions, jewelry, and all of the presents under the Christmas tree.
Those gifts, Judd noted, were intended for two children — one boy who is just a year old, and a teenage girl. The presents included baby toys, an iPad, a laptop, and a Nintendo DS.
“We hope someone out there will come forward with information about this crime,” Judd said.
Anyone with information about this theft can call Detective Matthew Radabaugh at 863-412-2212.
To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, anyone who has knowledge about this case or the suspects can call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS or log onto www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com.
iPhone and Droid users can download a free tip submit app to anonymously report crime. To install these free apps, log on to www.tipsoft.com.
“Remember, you can remain anonymous and earn some extra cash,” Judd said. “This woman and these children have already suffered through a death in the family, and now are also suffering from the trauma of a burglary in their home.”
That’s why, Judd said, he wants the public to help find the thieves.
“We need your help!” Judd said.
Contact us at FreelineOrlando@Gmail.com.