SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — We're used to hearing stories about Christmas presents stolen from cars. But thieves in Green Bluff took it a step further.
A stack of gifts was stolen when someone smashed through the Fry family’s living room window. Athena Fry was in her 6th period class when she got a bizarre text from her mom, Crystal.
"[She said] someone broke in and they stole all of your stuff,” Athena said. “And I was like: whatever, she's got to be kidding."
But she wasn't kidding.
Crystal had arrived at her quiet home in Green Bluff to find strange tire tracks in her yard, a set of footprints around her house, and her window shattered.
On the other side of that window had been presents for her children, Athena and Darren. But nearly all of the gifts closest to the window, which happened to mostly be for Athena, had been stolen.
"[My mom told me] most of it was your stuff, and I still didn't believe her,” Athena said. “But she started crying, and she's like: I'm really sorry but we can't get all that back. Because, we're a one income house and it's really hard for us out here."
The theft quickly turned a season that's meant to be cheery, very sad.
"I cried for a while,” Athena said.
"There's not a lot of crime up here, and it was just really shocking,” Crystal said. “I really just cried for while, because we don't have a lot, and so it hurts hearts."
But just as quickly, the response from friends and family lifted them up.
"We go to Colbert Chapel Church and I was just shocked,” Crystal said. “Like within 30 minutes of letting the pastor know, I had a couple of calls asking me if we needed anything."
The Fry's rent the home, and their landlord came by the night of the theft to help board up the window. Then, within 24 hours, he was installed a brand new one.
"I'm not a very emotional person,” Crystal said. “I cried several times over the past couple days, with just the community's response."
That response has included some donations to help replace the stolen gifts. And Crystal said, despite the original crime, there's plenty to be thankful for.
"They didn't take everything, and they didn't come into the house, and nobody was home when it happened,” she said. “So I'm grateful and feel blessed for that."
And both Athena and Crystal say, they've already forgiven the burglars.
"I was raised in a church,” Athena said. “So we're all about forgiving. Because if we don't forgive other people, like God forgives us, than we're putting ourselves above God."
"Everybody has hard times and we don't know everybody's story,” Crystal said. “Who knows why they did it or what they needed it for. I'm sure they were disappointed because it was clothes for a teenage girl that they took."
"I feel kinda bad that they're only going to get clothes,” Athena added.
There was a GoFundMe page set up for the Fry Family on Saturday.