Thieves hit eight vehicles, steal Christmas gifts

Thieves broke into eight vehicles Tuesday morning in the area of Miller and Homegardner roads. Among the victims: a family that left Christmas presents in a vehicle.
Emil Whitis
Dec 15, 2011


Thieves broke into eight vehicles Tuesday morning in the area of Miller and Homegardner roads. Among the victims: a family that left Christmas presents in a vehicle.

Dawn Gast said she bought presents for her four grandchildren and left them in her SUV, intending to pull the gifts out after the children went to sleep. When her husband checked the vehicle early Tuesday morning, it had been picked clean.

"We've got to start over from square one," Gast said. "All because these lowlifes don't want to get jobs."

The break-ins happened within a 4-mile stretch of road in Perkins and Margaretta townships, Erie County Sheriff's deputies said. Among the items stolen were jackets, sunglasses and a $3,000 portable defibrillator.

To read more from the Gast family, pick up Thursday's Register.




That's just so wrong, but i have to add "what were you thinking?", seriously this isn't the 1970's anymore where you can leave your house unlocked or stuff setting in your car.


I'm sorry, but I have to agree with SimpleEnough. We've reached a point in our society where the bad guys are rapidly gaining on the numbers of good guys, and the good guys have few options but to take measures to protect themselves including NOT leaving temptation in plain sight.

That being said, what kind of a lowlife steals Christmas from children? I hope they choke on a small piece of their ill-gotten gains! Better yet, I hope the police come up with some leads, catch this scum, and let them celebrate the joy of the holidays from behind bars!


Excuse me, SimpleEnough, How do you know the car was unlocked??  Did it say that in the story or are you the thief????


 secretary1, please reread my post.


 secretary1, please reread my post.


another story of a low life scum sucker who wont work to pay for there own gifts.............i think if the car was not broken into then it must have been unlocked................sad ............but the picture shows they look happy ??????


It's pretty sad when all people can do is put the blame on the VICTIM.  People should be able to leave things in their car without it being stolen.  Because society as a whole has gone down hill, we can't.  I say, load your guns, put the bait in the car and wait.  Maybe if people did that more often, society would recover a little bit of the honesty.


 I'm not "bashing" the victim......maybe chastising! Look I'm out shopping a llot (try to make one trip to get what I need so I'm not burning time and gas) and have seen a disturbing trend, all these SUV's setting there with bags of stuff in plain view. Now 8 remember my 88 bronco II even then had a cover that pulled over the rear storage area. Don't make it easier for them to decide to break in your vehicle, hide it from plain view, there are a lot of drug addicts out there.


At the risk of getting my neck cut off on here, i must say that was a really foolish thing to do.  With all these break in lately, everyone must exercise some due diligence.  Obviously, they did not. 

You put the kids to bed, or better yet, in another room, and go get the gifts from the car and put them into a room the kids are not in.  That way you do not have to worry.  But you do NOT let anything in a car any more.  This rates up there with letting wallets, I pods, cellphones, laptops...and oh, yes, the proverbial prescription pills, in your car. 

While I am sorry for their loss, it is their loss.  Call your insurance company and tell them what happened.  I hope your agent has a suggestion.  I am sure he or she will have a LOT to say about this. 

Mama of 4

Not that I dont think the people or person that did this was total scum BUT DONT LEAVE GFTS IN PLAIN VIEW IN YOUR CAR AROUND CHRISTMAS TIME! I have known that that is the number one rule of holiday shopping since I was five. I wish this was a world that you could leave houses and car unlocked but if you have common sense you know its not and should take better percautions. And agreeing with a earlier comment they look really happy, I guess you dont want to frown or cry in a picture just an odd kind of pic to see in such a sad story


Ummm... I had someone come into my HOME recently and steal my purse and about $700 worth of electronics. (I know it could have been worse, and I'm thankful we were not harmed.) But really... leaving ALL your Christmas presents in your car at this time of year, and in this city... rather stupid if you ask me.



The reference to "this city". That theft happened in Magaretta Township. Not sure which city you were referring to but this type of thing happens in ALL cities. As you can see here with this family.


did they make up the story to get free stuff.. no other reason to go to the paper with it.

Former Resident

Stupid is as stupid does....  How many times do some people have to be told not to leave items of value in your cars?  How many news reports do you have to hear about people getting your valuables ripped off?  It's Christmas time and by the looks of these folks, they've been around awhile and should know not to leave your presents in a car.... probably unlocked.  Now. Let's all go out and replenish their gifts with better ones. That's why their smiling.....


 I doubt they "went to the paper" starryeyes.  The thieves broke into 8 vehicles, not just one.  Not to mention there isnt a single thing in this article that says "to help with this family, go here."  Get off all your high horses and have a little bit of compassion for the family.  Haven't you ever done something that in hindsight you were like "yeah that was kinda stupid"?  Maybe they shouldn't have left their things in the car, but at the same time no one should be stealing their things as well.  Break-ins happen, stop blaming the victim for doing something when you should be blaming the thieves for actually doing the stealing.

Guy on a Buffalo

 Come on people!  The woman made a mistake.  She tried to hide the gifts in the car until the kids went to be so they didn't see the gifts.  Some criminal broke into the car and stole them, yet you idiots blame the family.  While it wasn't the smartest thing to do, it's still sad that it happened.

Sitting In The ...

For their four grandchildren....where are their parents?. Sorry to hear about this happening but come on there are thieves in every city. I agree with prior posts I don't leave either my home or my truck unlocked anymore if you do your asking for something like this to happen. Ofcourse they didn't say if they were in plain view or in the trunk nobody thought that might be something to ask when your taking the picture.


Every one of you (and me) should send them some gifts or a gift card to help them out.  No it wasn't their fault and no I didn't see where they were asking for help either.  They're all smiling though, despite the bad luck.  Be nice.  It's the  Christmas season.  You've been a jerk all year.  Do or at least say, something nice.


 Now, how about you post about the numerous break in's in Vickery! They go hand in hand.... Certain people creeping down the road in their car, writing stuff down, and coming back and robbing them. Certain people knocking on doors, asking for directions or asking about a car for sale on craigslist if someone answers... if no one answers they just walk into the house. Come on Register.. where are all these stories?  Last month, someone's house broken into and all their GUNS stolen. Let's get these men and women drug addicts behind bars. This is just ridiculous. Can't you get information and write information about the suspects and give warnings about these people? So if others are encountered with this type of situation they can get license plates and details to call the cops. That way, we can work together as a community and get this solved. Area resident's.. report anything suspicious! 


Youngfamily, We are talking about vickery right?! There is a cluster of homes there that probably keep the courts & jail in business on a regular basis. Get a dog with a loud bark. 


 Oh, BTW Maple Ave was hit as well.


 Simpleenough, I don't know why you continue to post ignorant comments about Vickery. Yes, it's a small town but it's not the way you are portraying it. You're thinking "downtown" Vickery. All these robberies happening to people who are not drug addicts but are good citizens and respectable people and if you search their public records they wouldn't have anything next to their names. These are people who do NOT live "downtown" by the tavern and such. And I'm not talking about whites landing either.  A lot of elderly people are who they are targetting. People who have chosen the country to retire to so they have a nice peaceful quiet life or people who have chosen the country to raise their children. Maybe you should drive out this way and see that it's not just a bunch of trouble makers and drug addicts. 


youngfamily, But I am talking about that cluster in "Downtown" Vickery, just watch and see who sports a coat or something that looks similar to someones stolen articles, but chances are the electronics will be hocked quickly for drugs. Hope they get caught, but being rural, it's not like you have a cop right around the block. Better to refer to yourselves as Riley or whatever township you live in.

my eye

Yes, while it wasn't the smartest thing to do leaving MY belongings in a MY LOCKED car in MY drive at MY home. I guess I should just let scum be scum and ruin MY life. I DID NOT call the paper, They called me. I DID NOT  ask for a handout from anyone.We WORK  for  what we want and need, This was to let the SCUM know that while they feel they won,they DO NOT break the spirit of the LOVE we share in our family, or the reason for the season. I hope they get caught and serve the time,but by some of your thinking I should sit back and curl up. Maybe if more of you pick yourself off the floor and join the ranks of humanity the criminals will be put where they belong. While I care and thank everyone for their KIND words of support my intent was to GIVE BACK to my community this season not to take. We all need to take the time to report things, to better our communities not sit back and take it..While I will be changing the way we conduct our day to day lives, We will pick up and replace what we need,on our own though hard work and a paycheck., and at the end of the day we know we still know we have the love of family and friends.


to BGsu..... I have done plenty of stupid things in my life, but I sure as heck did not run to the newspaper and let the entire world know about them.  In fact, I was hoping no one would ever find out. 

So it isn't that anyone is on their "high horse" as you put it, by stating the obvious.  They did something rather foolish and then, it appears, they called the newspaper. 

Now I don't know, maybe this nice picture will be their Christmas card next year.  I would sure as heck use it.  It's pretty good.  But I sure as heck would not have gotten hold of the paper and told everyone how bad my judgement was in this matter or how big a mistake I made. 

And by the way....who belongs to that $3000 portable defib machine?  Was it there's?  Or did that belong to a local volunteer fire department?  And why was that left in their car? 

Not smart. 


Dear Mr. Grinch aka wiredmama222,

I don't normally call someone an idiot. But you, my dear friend, are an idiot.  They did not come "running" to the Register as the previous comment states, the Register called them. So back off that arguement.

That they did not call the Register also takes away your "high horse" crap. So get off of yours.

Don't hate their wonderful picture because none of your photos would develop because the camera broke.  You seriously think the Register would want a bunch of grouchy kids and parents on their wbsite/newsaper? No! What's the first thing you do when you see a camera? You smile!  Not to mention, the previous post (which I'm assuming is one of them) states they aren't looking for handouts.  You all can make your assumptions about them but I have a different assumption - - they look like a hard-working family who is going to roll through the punches and make good out of their situation. 

Also, I was just waiting for some dumb-dumb to call out the defibulator machine. There were 8 cars that got broken into, not just theirs. The other items were part of the other cars that broken into as well. Not to mention, even if it was theirs, you don't know what kind of medical conditions they have or anything. 

The article isn't so much about them as it is the fact that there were EIGHT cars broken into on a particular street. The Register caught a lucky break and got a nice story out of it with one of those items being a van full of Christmas presents. Do us all a favor and stand up, quickly remove yourself from the computer, and stop hating on someone else's misfortune.





Sad to say, but this type of activity is happening in all towns in the area. Some young man told me the other day that he and his girlfriend went to the mall. When they got out of their car, they noticed a man going from car to car pulling on all the door handles. As far as they know, he never got in a car. He just took off walking down the parking lot.  Lock your cars, put your packages in the trunk and if you see anything out of the it.

Norma J-C

My thinking is to be careful at all times and be extra watchful when replacing stolen items. The thieves KNOW that and will be casing the same places again to get more stuff.

When we shop, one of us usually sits in the car after we start putting things in the trunk.



@ Unassumer:  by saying the rest of us should send them gift cards to help them out- just validated the point that  "starryeyes"  was trying to make.  If you can afford to help bankroll other people's  Christmas  go for it.. don't  speak for  others, though.     

Bottom line is:  thieves don't care whether or not a car is parked in someone's drive or store parking lot.  If it's unlocked it's like giving them an engraved invitation. 

Sorry, there's just too many of these stories floating around this time of year.  Some of them turn out to be a hoax.  If this one is legit , so be it.  

Next time : lock the  car!


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