ANDERSON, Ind. – A mother of a 6-year-old boy say she plans to hold Christmas with her son in the next couple weeks after thieves broke into her home and stole her son's presents, along with many more items, early Christmas morning.
According to Pamela Graves, her house was broken into between a nine-hour window early Monday. She had been out with family on Christmas Eve and came home Monday to find her front door was wide open.
“I just thank God, based on how everything looked, that I wasn’t here," said Graves.
The mother would go on to find a back window shattered and the door next to it kicked in. Those led to an enclosed porch. The lock to the door that leads from the porch to the kitchen was also busted.
"The chain locked to the door was kicked off," Graves said. "The part [the chain latches to] isn’t even there anymore."
Thieves took a few dozen presents under a recently purchased television, along with the TV, other electronics, a washing machine, and clothing.
"They came and pulled all my trash bags out and used my trash bags to bag up my stuff," said Graves.
Other electronics included televisions from her room and her son's room, along with some video game consoles.
She said she didn't have presents under a tree this year because the holiday season had already been a rough one for her.
"I actually went through a miscarriage in November," said Graves. "I was three months pregnant. This year has been a little different for me.”
Since the incident, Graves said friends and family have been helping out. Some neighbors came over Christmas morning to help get a board up over the broken window. Some have given her money to buy cleaning supplies and to do laundry at a mat in town.
“They reached in their pockets and literally gave me whatever they had," Graves said. "That meant the world to me, I was able to get stuff to clean my place back up."
Graves said she hadn't been home much since the break-in. She planned to start bringing the home back to normal Wednesday afternoon. Her son hasn't been home since it happened.
The child is a big fan of hats, which were hanging up on his bedroom walls. Most of them were stolen, as were his school uniforms.
“It’s one thing for them to steal from, but the fact that they took from my baby, that’s the part that gets me," an emotional Graves said.
The mother said her son hasn't been too upset, even telling his mother that it’s “okay if someone took his presents.”
"He said, 'that’s okay mommy, they can have them,'" said Graves. "That of course broke my heart and warmed my heart at the same time because I know he knows that Christmas gifts are just what we do to celebrate. He knows what Christmas is really about and wants his mommy to be fine.”
Anderson police are still seeking information in the case. Graves said she hopes those responsible put the gifts to a good use.
“They must have needed it more than we did," said the mother. "I hope their kids had a great Christmas, if that is what it was. Or they were able to sell it and get money for whatever it may be."
Friends and family have started a GoFundMe account to help Graves provide a Christmas to her son. The account can be found here.