A group of grinches robbed the home of a Decatur family early on Christmas Eve, taking gifts out the front door in broad daylight.And the crime was caught on a surveillance camera.
Kevin Kinley, who lives on Fayetteville Road in the Oakhurst community of Decatur, said thieves took “everything that was under the tree and wrapped.”
The gifts included clothing, shoes, gifts for the couple’s parents and for each other. Other stolen items included the family’s iMac computer, a flat screen television, iPad and digital camera.
Fortunately, most to the gifts from Santa to the two Kinley children, ages 2 and 4, were hidden and not under the Christmas tree, Kinley said.
In all, Kinley estimated that approximately $5,000 to $8,000 in belongings were stolen from the house. Repairing the front door, which was kicked in by the burglars, will cost the Kinley’s another $1,500.
A recording from Kinley’s surveillance camera, installed above the front door, shows a silver sedan, possibly a 2002-09 Dodge Intrepid, backing into the home’s driveway. A couple of minutes later, after three runners go by, a Black male is seen approaching the front door, presumably to ensure that no one was in the home. Seconds later, three other Black males join him at the door and kick it open.
The video then shows the males taking various items from the home.
Kinley said a neighbor saw the vehicle in their driveway but thought it was a family member.
Kinley, who works in the technology field, said he installed the homemade surveillance system “more as a hobby until now.” The video was stored on a DVR separate from the computer.
To try to catch the thieves, Kinley has turned to social media. He posted the video on Youtube and shared the link with his community’s Yahoo group page. Kinley also started a Twitter account, @DecaturGrinch, to provide updates in the case.
As of Jan. 3, the video had topped 16,600 views. The story has even gotten national media attention.
Kinley said the family did not let the crime ruin its Christmas.
“At first we didn’t want it to interrupt the kid’s Christmas,” Kinley said. “We acted as if it didn’t happen.”
But now the Kinleys just want peace in their home.
“It doesn’t feel like our home is peaceful right now,” Kinley said. “The only way that will happen is if these guys are caught.”