The presents, which had been wrapped and put into bags ready to be placed under the tree on Christmas Eve and gifted to family and friends, were all stolen after burglars broke into a family’s home in the early hours of Tuesday morning (21 December).
The whole family, who live in Manvers Street, Worksop, have now been left utterly heartbroken and without any gifts to open on Christmas day thanks to the heartless behaviour of two criminals.
In a heartfelt plea for any information and witnesses to come forward, mother Samantha Headland has described how her two children have been left in tears.
Samantha, 36, and a full-time mum, said: “How could they ruin our Christmas for our kids and invade our home like this?
“Even the Grinch stole Christmas but at least he brought it back. I’m not bothered if I don’t get any presents it’s just my kids that matter.
“It’s so heartbreaking and it’s more the fact that they’ve stolen the children’s presents and now they don’t have anything to open.
“That’s what makes me more upset compared to everything.
“You can replace presents but you can’t replace the surprises and the children opening the presents.
“It’s all about the kids and I go mad at Christmas for all the decorations and have even decorated the bathroom.
“The kids have been crying and have been really quiet and keep getting upset and were scared and stayed up later with me.”
The family’s children, aged 11 and 12-years-old, have been left in tears and scared in their own home.
Samantha explained how the family also had boxes of sweets and Christmas chocolate on the coffee table which had also been eaten, she believes, as they were being burgled.
“I got up to go to the toilet at around 2.50am and heard whispering and thought it was my children up. I knew it wasn’t my fiancé as he was working nights so it was just me and my children at home.
“I said hello and heard someone knocking about and bumping into things and after saying hello I just heard them swear and then two people ran by the bottom of the stairs out the back.
“I then went immediately into my kid’s room thinking all sorts of things.
“I called the police straight away and the operator stayed on the phone with me the whole time she was amazing and the officers got to my house so quickly.
“The burglars had searched the downstairs and upstairs spare room and were busy in the living room when I disturbed them.
“They’d unplugged the virtual reality headset and moved all the gaming disks but hadn’t got much from that room but I’m pretty sure they would have if I hadn’t woken up.
“They’ve taken all the Christmas presents – they’ve taken every single one of them.”
Lateral flow tests have also been taken that had been given to the children for when they returned to school in the new year.
Samantha added: “I had walked past the spare room and noticed the door was open and the presents were all gone.
“We had wrapped them all up ready for Christmas day as we wanted to make sure they were all wrapped and ready for the big day.
“We never put the presents under the tree either until Christmas Eve evening when the kids have gone to bed so they can wake up in the morning and see them all there.
“The presents weren’t just for my family but for my mum, my partners mum, our sisters and brothers-in-law and nephews and then obviously included presents for my daughter and son.
“Downstairs everything was open and messed up and in the dining room they had taken my Samsung watch, emptied my handbag and taken £50 and also taken my rings that I leave in a box.
“I keep thinking it’s my fault, but I struggle with my health and I’m on medication for pain and it’s easier to leave my rings in a box downstairs.
“They also stole my pain medication and another £60 that we had put away safe for Lee’s son for Christmas.
“Our Samsung tablets have both gone that was on charge and I even noticed they’d taken two boxes of lateral flow test the children had brought home ready to go back to school in the new year.
“The alcohol we had brought ready for Christmas and even half-empty bottles had also gone.
“It’s just shocking what’s happened and what they’ve done.
“I even had my nephew stay over last night just to feel safe as my fiancé was at work.
“It’s all so upsetting, and I go past the spare room and keep looking in but have to walk past – it’s all so fresh and raw.”
Officers are now urging anyone who may have heard anything or has any information to come forward to help them with their investigation.
Superintendent Kevin Broadhead, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “These children have been left without any presents to open on Christmas day after their parents worked so hard to buy them and carefully wrapped them ready to surprise them on Christmas day.
“No child should be without presents to open on the most special and festive day of the year and for this to happen so close to Christmas it’s incredibly sad.
“People should feel safe in their own homes and go to sleep without having to worry about their homes being broken into.
“Burglaries are a complete invasion into someone’s home and not only have a financial impact but an emotional one too.
“Our officers are working hard to conduct a number of enquiries into this incident, and we are urging anyone who may have any information to come forward to help us with our enquiries.”
Anyone with information is urged to call the police on 101, quoting incident number 37 of 21 December 2021.