CASS COUNTY, Mo. -- Cass County deputies are on alert after several real life Grinches made off with Christmas gifts.
The sheriff's department says thieves are rummaging through homes in search of valuables, particularly ones they can pawn or sell.
Sharon Goff showed us the scuffs on her door frame, after she says thieves tried to break into her home when her husband was home alone.
"He was back in the bedroom about noon, and he thought he heard a tap on the window," Goff said.
When her husband looked out of the window, Goff says he saw a guy walking to his car with a crow bar. Fortunately, the man took off before he made it inside.
Others in the county weren't as lucky.
Cass County deputies worked as many as 10 burglaries in the last week, where thieves first knock to see if anyone is home.
"If someone answers the door they'll give them a story. 'Hey, I thought you had something for sale on Craigslist.' 'I'm lost, can you tell me how to get to the highway?'" Lt. Kevin Tieman with the Cass County Sheriff's Department said.
If no one answers, LT. Tieman says they kick in the door and make off with valuables.
Catching the culprits may be difficult judging by the descriptions given to deputies.
"Everything from a white male to a black male, to a black female. Usually in pair though. Male and female both," LT. Tieman said.
It's recommended you practice all of the holiday defense tips to keep prowlers at bay, including making your home look occupied. Also, having the post office hold your mail when you're away.
"They're out there and they want your stuff, and they're going to get it if they don't get caught. So now we're all on alert," Goff said.
The Cass County Sheriff Department and many other law enforcement agencies have a "House Watch" program. That's where deputies will come out and keep and eye on your home if you're going to be away.