‘Grinch’ Steals Prairie Village, Kan. Family’s Presents

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PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. -- It wasn't the Grinch who stole Christmas. It was thieves.

A Prairie Village family says their holiday was stolen from their living room.

Ted and Kirby Leeper say they had left their home for about 90 minutes last night. They say they'd taken their daughters to their grandparents' home for dinner, less than a mile away.

When they returned home, their living room looked nothing like santa's workshop. Thieves had stolen everything except the christmas spirit itself.

"It's a holiday for kids," Kirby Leeper said.

That's the aspect of Christmas The Leepers say they were looking to the most. Their living room was ready to go on Christmas Eve.

"Last night, we went to dinner at Ted's parents' house. They live about two streets away," Kirby said.

But it isn't Santa who came to visit them. They say their front door had been kicked in, and things had been stolen, including their TV, video game system, and worst of all, their kids' Christmas gifts from under the tree.

"They were in here less than two minutes probably," Kirby Leeper said. "They just grabbed everything and ran out."

"I never honestly believed that somebody would come into our house," Ted Leeper said. "It's shocking kind of."

Six-year old Reagan Leeper couldn't believe what she saw either.

"No TV and no Xbox," Reagan said. "That's what I saw. And the tree... The star was crooked."

The tree had been pushed aside, enabling criminals space to steal the Leepers keepsakes.

Kirby Leeper says she'd spent months shopping for gifts for her two daughters, and it was all gone within minutes. They even found discarded gifts lying in the snow outside the home, presumably where thieves had dropped them as they left the home.

"The people who did this have my concern," Ted Leeper said. "I can't imagine being at a point in my life when I'd want to kick in a door on Christmas Eve and steal a child's presents. My heart goes out to those people."

Neither Ted nor Kirby are working full-time right now, yet they're still hopeful for a rewarding Christmas. They say Reagan, the older of their two daughters, has been an inspiration.

"She said to my wife and I, 'That's ok, Dad. It will still be the best Christmas ever.' She's been amazing through this."

Reagan's message to the criminals is somewhat simple, as a little child pleads for the return of her Christmas gifts.

"I'd tell them, 'would you please fix this mess?'"

The Leepers say neighbors chipped in with some small gifts for their children. They say they'd never been broken into before, and their neighborhood is usually very quiet. The Prairie Village Police Department is investigating the case.

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