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Stolen Gifts Returned in Time for Christmas


WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A real life Grinch was caught, and a family is getting their stolen Christmas presents returned to them.

Larry Walters’ family came home last Tuesday to find their house along Buffalo Creek Road in Wayne County had been ransacked.

"They pretty much plundered all through the house," he said.

Guns, a TV, and even the grandkids' Christmas gifts under the tree were gone.

"This was the first year we actually finished (shopping) early for once,” Walters said. “Somebody came in behind us and took everything you’d worked for."

In a stroke of good Christmas luck, police found a stolen car in Huntington. Inside were some of the stolen presents.

"It was pretty obvious they were stolen," Huntington Police Department Sgt. Brian Lucas said.

Police were led to a suspect, Andrew Williamson, who already had an outstanding parole violation and a lengthy criminal history.

At his home, they found more of the Walters’ missing property.

"Honestly I didn't expect to get anything back," Walters said.

Detectives posted information about the items on their Facebook page, hoping to find the victims.

Walters, not a social media frequenter himself, heard about the Facebook post from friends on Friday.

"I've got two granddaughters,” he said. “The majority of the stuff is for them. It's going to make me feel better knowing there's something there for them now."

Police say they enjoy the happy holiday ending, as well.

"Most times in cases like these this time of year, it's not solved, or by the time it's solved, it's after the holidays,” Lucas said. “The families have to repurchase gifts or go without, so the way this one fell into place, a lot of luck was involved with it. It does make you feel good."

Police say several charges are pending against Williamson in Cabell and Wayne counties. They believe there is more than one person involved and that they were involved in more than one burglary.

The family will be getting the stolen property back Tuesday morning.


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