We’re all familiar with the Grinch, the villainous green creature who breaks into homes to steal Christmas. But one young mother from Warren, Michigan, recently found out the Grinch isn’t just a children’s character—when she woke up to every parent’s Christmas nightmare.
Amanda Larue, a 27-year-old single mother, had been working hard to make sure her 8-year-old daughter Makayla had the best Christmas possible. While her daughter was at school, Larue had been out shopping for presents, and was relieved when she was finally done shopping last week.
But the next morning, everything was gone.
At 8:30 in the morning, the Thursday before Christmas, a burglar broke into Larue’s home. Caught on a security camera, this real-life Grinch is seen stealing Makayla’s presents from underneath the tree.
Not only that, he also walked out with Larue’s television set.
The young mother’s home has been broken into twice before, and authorities suspect that it was the same man. This was definitely the work of a full-time criminal, as evidenced by the fact that he came prepared with treats to trick the family’s German Shepherd dog.
“He’s a Grinch. A slime bag,” Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer told WJBK.
“This guy is probably going to go out and commit more burglaries.”
The crime appalled the local police, and devastated Larue, who after everything had no gifts for her daughter for Christmas morning.
“I literally was just shaking and violated,” she said.
The police haven’t caught the burglar yet, though they’re offering a $500 reward for any information.
But since they couldn’t bring the criminal to justice just yet, they could do the next best thing—and help Larue get her Christmas back on track.
They called the young woman into the station, and revealed an incredible surprise:
The officers had chipped in to buy her new presents!
“These officers weren’t asked to do this,” Commissioner Dwyer told WJBK regarding the generous officers. “They came forward and said hey, we wanna help this lady out.”
The police officers’ donation included gifts, a Christmas ham, plus $100 for groceries and $500 for new presents for her daughter.
A local business also anonymously donated a new television set. Larue was incredibly grateful and taken aback by the sudden change of fortune.
“I’m glad I’m able to give my daughter the Christmas that she deserves and this guy wasn’t able to steal it from her,” she said.
For the Warren Police Department, it was the least they could do to support a helpless victim right before the holidays.
But for the Grinch out on the lam, they have a different message:
“We’re going to say Merry Christmas to you,” Dwyer said, “when you spend it in jail.”