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Crimes of Opportunity: Thieves Target Kids' Toys During Holidays

Updated: Tuesday, November 19 2013, 12:51 AM EST
COVEDALE, Ohio (Angela Ingram) -- Thieves are doing their Christmas shopping on porches; stealing childrens toys.

A Westside family recently spotted a woman running off with their son's outdoor toy chest and shoving it in a car full of other toys.  Angela Ingram explains why police say it's not an uncommon crime, especially around this time of year.

Police told the family these crimes of opportunity happen throughout the year but they usually see an uptick the closer we get to Christmas.  Thats because more people do online shopping and have packages delivered to their homes.

Four-year-old Jackson and his baby brother, Christian, have a room full of toys; cars, Buzz Lightyear, and capes for make-believe.  But their favorite outdoor toys are missing.

I mean the toy box was kind of in an alcove so they really had to have hunted for it.

Brazen thieves stole the toy box while the two boys were home with their father.

And he kind of looked out the window and he said he saw someone trying to ram the toy box in the car and he also said there was already other kids stuff in the back of the car so we probably weren't the first house that they hit.

The Alexanders found out it's not uncommon this time of year when they called police.

They basically said that around this time of year, lower income people decide to go Christmas shopping for their kids and steal other children's stuff.

Officers call them crimes of opportunity and although they happen year-round, police say they're more prevalent around the holidays.  More people shop online probably now more than ever and people are having packages delivered to their homes more frequently.  So it does create somewhat of an opportunity for people who take advantage of that.

So far, Jackson hasn't noticed that his outdoor toys are gone.  But his mother says when it gets warmer he'll definitely be looking for his missing toy chest.

That's pretty low. I mean stealing from kids at Christmas time, that's as low as you can go.

The Alexanders say although it's more work to haul all of the outdoor toys back and forth that's what they're going to have to do when they replace the stolen items.  They say it's better than having to explain to their four-year-old that someone stole his belongings.

If you are going to have packages delivered police recommend contacting the delivery company to work out arrangements. They say it's best to be home when the package arrives or have a relative or neighbors receive it for you.

Watch video HERECrimes of Opportunity: Thieves Target Kids' Toys During Holidays

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