Monrovia family loses Christmas presents to Thanksgiving squatter

Hope Family
A photo of the Hope family shared by Lorie Hope — who's home was lived in and robbed while she and her daughters were away for Thanksgiving. Photo credit Lorie Hope

MONROVIA, Calif. (KNX) — The Hope family got home to a nasty surprise after their Thanksgiving holiday when they found their home torn apart and many of their belongings...gone.

The strangest part of the story is that it didn’t seem as though it was a quick in and out job, Lorie Hope told KNX — explaining that it seemed as though someone had been living in their home while they were gone.

"We walked into like...a total mess. It was mayhem, the person just destroyed the inside of our home," Hope said.

A neighbor told ABC 7 News that they saw a man watering the lawn Saturday, but weren’t aware that he was not supposed to be there. He even told them that he was taking care of the house while the family was away.

Hope said she believes he snuck into her house through a small bathroom window - the only unsecured access point.

Her sister, Tanya Juhasz, explained how it all happened on a GoFundMe page for the family.

“While spending time in the mountains with my family, someone broke into her home and not only stole all of their Christmas presents and some irreplaceable jewelry from my mom, but this person lived in their home and destroyed every room,” Juhasz wrote.

“He went through every drawer, trashed every room and slept in every bed. He left his drugs and the police are trying to locate him."

While police continue the investigation into who exactly was in the house, Juhasz is asking the public’s help in “bringing back Christmas to the Hope Family.”

“While I am sad for this homeless and desperate young man and hope he gets the help he needs, I am more concerned by my family…my sister [is an] incredibly hard working mom and she saves all year to give her kids a great holiday.” Juhasz wrote.

She said any monetary donations will be used to help replace the stolen Christmas presents “so they can experience a little good will and love that is in this world to give.”

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