PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. — A foster mother to five children in Prince Albert, Sask., says her heart sank when a grinch stole her van that was carrying Christmas presents for her kids and an anniversary gift for her husband.
Melanie Brown, who is 41, has children who range in age from three and a half months to 13 years.
She and her husband had just celebrated their 15th anniversary but she was in shock Saturday morning when her young son told her their van that had been parked and locked in her driveway the night before was missing.
She says the presents included a coffee maker for her 46-year-old spouse and about $230 worth of Christmas gifts, including skates and a helmet for her developmentally delayed daughter who wants to play hockey like her brothers.
The van was discovered Monday in a driveway about 10 blocks away from her east-side home and towed to police headquarters to be processed for evidence.
Brown says she has no idea yet if anything was left behind.
“I had done Christmas shopping the day before and I had not had a chance to sneak it in the house past my children to hide it, you know the whole Santa Claus role,” said Brown, who admits she’s frustrated with ongoing crime in her neighbourhood.
She said during the summer she would call police two to three times a week about domestic violence issues in the neighbourhood, then have to contend with people trying to break into vehicles or screaming out on the street in the middle of the night.
“We’ve had people banging on our door at two o’clock in the morning demanding we call them cabs. We’ve had people try to kick in our basement windows and they’re young teenagers sometimes and their excuse is ‘we’ve had a rough life,’ ” she said.
But the theft of her van and the loss of its contents hurts Brown and her family the most.
“That’s what I use to facilitate them and all their activities, and at this time of year, I can’t think of a more grinch like thing for people to do.” (CKBI)
The Canadian Press
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