Sarasota County

Grinch steals presents from North Port family while they were sleeping

NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) - A Grinch stole Christmas from a North Port family in the middle of the night.

A burglar snuck inside while the family was sleeping, stole all their gifts and then took their minivan to get away.

Inside the Randazzo home on Jeannin Drive, the family's love for one another is seen everywhere. But one area in the living room is sadly empty.

"The presents were all under the tree right there," pointed out mother Ashton Randazzo.

Overnight, a Grinch opened the unlocked sliding glass door and swiped the keys to their red 2014 Town & Country minivan off the wall, then helped themselves to all the gifts under tree.

If that's not enough, the crook stole electronics and even rummaged through a wallet that belonged to a 7-year-old boy.

The crook loaded the gifts into the van and vanished and the family awoke into a nightmare.

"To have this happen when so much has been taken from us as it is, it hurts," said Randazzo.

This is the first Christmas the kids will have without their grandmother. She will be buried on Monday.

The children's aunt, Deborah Hall, just delivered those gifts to cheer them up.

"It was a kick in the stomach," said Hall. "I'm sad. Because I really wanted to give them a really good Christmas with me."

The family doesn't know if the kids will get presents this year. But the thieves did not steal this family's joy.

"It's not ruined, it's what you make of it. You can let it be ruined if that's what you want it to be. But we're not gonna allow that. We're too strong for that, we're too strong of a family," said Randazzo.

Shockingly, the family feels pity not for themselves, but for the thieves.

"I feel sorry for them that this is how they feel they have to survive," said Hall. "I don't care how bad of a person you are, there's gotta be a part of you when you lay your head down at night, that you did this."

This Grinch surprisingly gave this family a gift, the reminder that love conquers all.

"We're alive. Nobody got hurt. At least we can celebrate Christmas by being together. Why let something like this defy who we are?" said Randazzo. "We'll get through this. We will."

The family has started a GoFundMe account. If you know anything about this case, call North Port police.


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