WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – You may be able to imagine how many horror stories that dispatchers hear throughout their day, but when they found out someone stole gifts from innocent children two days before Christmas, they were heartbroken.
The Trumbull County 911 Dispatch Center is now collecting donations for that Warren family whose gifts were stolen out of their car.
The gifts were given to the family by the Salvation Army, as part of its Angel Tree program. According to the Warren Tribune-Chronicle, police responded to a report of gunshots on Lane Drive around 4 a.m. Wednesday and found a car with its rear door open and the window shattered.
The car’s owner told police that he had a bag of Christmas gifts in the trunk and covered in the back seat to hide from the children. While some of the presents were recovered by police, most are still missing.
The family has six children — girls ages 9, 15 and 16 and boys ages 4, 11 and 13.
Trumbull County Dispatcher Kathy Lapmardo said, when she heard what happened, it made her and the team reach out to the community.
“I just felt so bad for the family,” she said. “First of all, to have everything taken away on Christmas and to have nothing for the children on Christmas morning. We had one lady call and wanted to give gifts, so I thought why not try to get something rolling and get a lot more gifts for the kids, if we could.”
They’re asking that donations be dropped off at the dispatch center, located at 911 Howland-Wilson Road NE in Howland Township. The dispatchers will be collecting gifts all day on Christmas Eve so that the family can have a good Christmas morning.