WEST ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Talk about ‘bah humbug.’
A Long Island woman says a greedy grinch broke into her West Islip home and stole the gifts under her Christmas tree.
Police say the brazen burglar struck in the middle of the afternoon.
“Somebody was in my house. That was the scary part,” Susan Muller told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.
Her children were away while she was at work, forgetting to set the burglar alarm.
Muller says the thief violated the sanctity of their holiday.
“It’s unsettling. I’m trying to focus on the fact that this could have been much worse,” she said.
“They broke in the back window, they broke this lock… There are dents in the window frame, and they cracked the frame and then popped it up,” she explained. “And then walked the short distance to the Christmas tree and grabbed the presents, and we believe and police confirm that he likely got interrupted.”
Interrupted while in the midst of stealing at least 10 wrapped presents.
“Slippers, toys, an ornament for a little boy,” said Muller. “They got away with some Christmas presents, but the thing that they took is that sense of security you have in your home.”
Muller told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall she thinks the thief only managed to steal half of her gifts, because a UPS delivery person knocked on the door and scared him off.
“Everybody watches out for everyone. They are kind of part of my family,” she said. “I have a Suffolk County cop next door, firefighters across the street. I love them all.”
Now, they’re sharing an outpouring of support.
“Within an hour of this happening, one of my friends’ husband cut a piece of wood to put there. A good friend of mine came by with a lock and replaced it,” she said.
Muller says the family’s Christmas spirit will not be dictated by a heartless thief.
“He may have stolen and done the Grinch thing, but that’s not what is going to take over here,” she said. “It’s the holidays, we have the love and support, and that is what we are going to keep our focus.”
Muller says the experience has encouraged her to do three things: Remember to active her alarm, invest in a surveillance video system, and get a dog that barks – in time for Christmas.
Suffolk County police are investigating whether another daytime burglary around the corner from the Mullers could be connected.