By Emily Gillespie
The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash. (MCT)
Local law enforcement restored holiday cheer to a Vancouver family that fell victim to a burglary on Christmas Eve.
The Weisser family returned to their Maple Tree neighborhood home from a family gathering about 8 p.m. Tuesday to find their back door kicked in and their house ransacked.
“We got home and we noticed Christmas wrapping paper on the driveway,” Bill Weisser said. “We pulled into the driveway and noticed the front door wide open.”
Electronics, including two flat-screen televisions, had been unplugged and hauled away and the Christmas presents that had been tucked under the tree were all missing. Worst of all, Sheryl Weisser said, was that 16-year-old Haley Weisser’s Dodge Neon was missing from the driveway.
“At first I was just in shock. … I couldn’t process what was really going on,” Sheryl Weisser said. “My kids weren’t going to have any gifts to open Christmas morning.”
That, however, wasn’t true for long.
Clark County sheriff’s deputies took the burglary report and entered the vehicle as stolen into the National Crime Information Center.
About three hours later, Vancouver police spotted the stolen vehicle at Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard and Northeast 57th Avenue.
They arrested two people inside, ages 13 and 17. Because they are juveniles, their names were not released, said Vancouver Police Department spokeswoman Kim Kapp.
Officers recovered most of the stolen goods, including many of the presents. By 3 a.m. Christmas Day, six police officers returned the items to the family.
“It was overwhelming,” Sheryl Weisser said. “I was just so surprised they were able to find all of that. I had to give them all hugs.”
The Weissers said they are thankful to the two agencies for getting their stuff back so quickly.
“To find that car in the middle of the night, that was a needle in a haystack as far as I’m concerned,” Bill Weisser said. “It’s pretty neat.”