Real-Life Grinch - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Real-Life Grinch


WATERLOO, IA - This time of year, many families don't think twice about throwing open their curtains to display their beautiful Christmas tree. But what they may not realize, is it's basically inviting thieves to go window shopping.

Each year, the Kittrell family prides itself on finding the tallest, fullest, evergreen in the area. As a recently married-in part of the group, Amy Kittrell is amazed at her new family's success.

"They got the biggest real tree I've ever seen!" she joked.

And they want their neighbors to enjoy it as much as they do.

Amy's sister-in-law Steph Kittrell noted, "that's the reason we put the windows open, so people can see the tree."

Amy and Steph did not consider, that their kids gifts are also on display.

Steph said, "it just would be hard to believe that somebody would run someone else's Christmas."

Hard to believe, but it happens. Wednesday afternoon, someone broke into a Waterloo home, and stole not only the TV and computer, but also nabbed the presents from under the tree. It's one of a few similar burglaries in the past few weeks.

Waterloo Police Captain John Beckman explained, "fortunately it's the exception, not the rule. It does happen, but not very often."

With an eye on her three-year old son, Amy said her neighbor's experience may change their family's window display tradition in the future. And right now, her heart is breaking for them.

"I feel bad for that family because I have a husband who's unemployed. And if our presents were gone, we would have nothing. So my heart goes out to that family," she added.

Captain Beckman recommends completing all the paperwork to get those high-ticket items registered under your homeowners insurance before putting them under the tree.

Cedar Rapids police want to emphasize the role neighbors play in preventing burglaries. If you see something suspicious, don't hesitate to call police. Also, don't leave valuables inside your car. Police said purses, electronics & gifts are favorite targets for thieves.

Many thefts are happening near shopping centers. So take the extra time to put your merchandise in the trunk or out of sight.

Online Reporter: Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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