THE Grinch stole Christmas from two Wodonga families, but the community has rallied to prove the spirit of the season is alive and well.
Wodonga police have been flooded with donated gifts for the victims of the burglaries from the two homes in Wilca Way and Hartwig Road, where families woke on Christmas morning to discover they’d been robbed of thousands of dollars worth of presents overnight.
Yesterday, police continued their investigations, finding a trail of wrapping paper from the gifts in nearby streets.
Detective Sgt Graeme Simpfendorfer, who previously described the thefts as “one of the lowest acts” he’d seen in 20 years of policing, said more than 30 gifts had been dropped off at the police station.
Sgt Simpfendorfer -speaking on behalf of the two families, grandparents Claire and Glenn Roennfeldt, and Bronwyn, her husband and their two children - said they and police had been “overwhelmed” by the response.
“The victims are still feeling it today, to have Christmas taken away from them, but the generosity of strangers has helped,” he said.
“It is so pleasing to see members of the community willing to give their own gifts at the drop of a hat.
“It is the Christmas spirit, well and truly alive.”
The homes were raided between 1am and 6am on Christmas Day.
Sgt Simpfendorfer said wrapping paper had been found in Sans Souci Drive, Pearce Street and Moonya Drive.
“They’ve obviously discarded the paper as they’re going through the presents, but it gives us an indication of the route they’ve taken,” he said.
Police are now calling on any residents in those streets with private CCTV to come forward and allow investigators to examine any footage.
“It might not look like there’s much there to them, but it could help us,” he said.
Sgt Simpfendorfer said he couldn’t speculate what the thief’s motivation was, but one thing was certain, their actions were plain greedy.
People with information should phone (02) 6049 2600.