"Grinch" steals $1,400 in gifts... AND A PUPPY!

By: Nick Viviani
By: Nick Viviani

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (CBS) -- A southwest Fort Wayne woman is looking for answers after she said someone went into her home, stole wrapped gifts under her tree, and took her puppy.

Saturday actually started as joyful for Sheila Snyder. Her son was home from the Marine Corps, they had just decorated their Christmas tree, and put some gifts underneath it.

After her son had gone, Snyder and her daughter left their home around 1:00 p.m. Saturday to go shopping. Two hours later, they came back the the home, located in the 7300 block of Knightswood Drive in Waynedale. That's when she said they made the disturbing discovery.

“[My daughter] said, 'Mom, we've been robbed.' And she started screaming and I started screaming for the dog. And the dog was missing,” Snyder said. “Our hearts are empty right now.”

Snyder thinks the suspect or suspects came through the back door and, among other things, snatched the gifts under the tree. In all she said she lost $1,400 dollars in gifts.

“We had a widescreen TV taken, two PlayStations taken, iPads, laptops, gaming systems, CD's, they stole my mortgage money, they stole cash,” Snyder said. “They stole my dog.”

She said her dog is named Charlie. The American Bulldog puppy is approximately four and a half months old and weighs 40 pounds. Snyder said he had a blue collar with United States Marine Corps tags on him with her address and phone number.

Snyder's neighbor pointed out tire tracks in a grassy area between her house and her neighbor's place. She thinks they may have been from suspect(s) vehicle. Snyder is unsure if her back door was locked, but said there was no sign of forced entry.

The self-proclaimed "Christmassy" woman said she's trying to stay positive, but the crime of the Christmas thief has definitely hit home.

“I don't care about my stuff. I was worried about the safety of my dog if they were hurting him,” Snyder said. “They're not going to break our spirits. We're all about the season to begin with. We’ve just got to pick up the pieces and kind of carry forward and everyday go look for our dog and hope and pray he’s out there somewhere and somebody can find him.”

Snyder reported the incident to Fort Wayne police. She said a detective told her the suspect is either someone she knows or someone who'd been watching her place closely. For example, she said she had cash stolen that was hiding inside her Bible.

Monday, Snyder went to Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control but didn’t find her puppy Charlie. She's confident someone knows something about this crime.


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