OAKLAND – An elderly couple discovered Thursday morning that the Christmas presents they had bought for their family had been stolen from their home while they slept.

“I won’t say that any crime is tasteful, but this one is particularly distasteful,” said Oakland police Capt. Rick Stubbert.

Stubbert said a door to the home was forced open and more than 15 items were stolen, along with some medication.

Charlotte Lovejoy, 87, said she realized that something was wrong when she noticed a cupboard ajar early that morning.

She discovered that the house had been stripped of Christmas presents, including those for her 6-year-old great-niece.

“I am so ugly right now, and I’m scared,” Lovejoy said. “If I could get my hands on them, I’d kill them.”

Lovejoy said the theft is a serious financial blow for her and her husband, who live on fixed Social Security payments.

Like the fictional residents of Whoville in the popular seasonal story “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” Lovejoy said her holiday spirit has not been taken from her.

“My family is very good,” Lovejoy said. “They said to me not to buy for them, but of course I will get something. It won’t be all it was, though.”

Police withheld certain details of the burglary, which Stubbert said is one of many Christmas-present theft cases he has seen. “It’s not uncommon at all,” he said. “We seem to have one or two every year.”

He said home invasions of all sorts, including ones when people are home, are on the rise in the area.

He recommended that homeowners take precautions, including locking all windows and doors and installing motion-sensor lights.

He said the best solution is burglar alarm systems, which are becoming increasingly affordable.

 

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Matt Hongoltz-Hetling can be contacted at 861-9287 or at:

mhhetling@centralmaine.com