Someone broke into a Halethorpe family's home and stole all of their Christmas presents, three days before the holiday.
"The first thing I saw when I walked in was torn wrapping paper under the tree," Miranda Lowe said.
Three days before Christmas, Lowe says she's frightened, not festive. On Wednesday morning, she discovered someone smashed the glass in a back door to break-into her Baltimore County home.
“They went through everything, they went through our clothes, they went through every single room, they went into closets, they upended dresser drawers, just dumped everything out,” Lowe said. “They were just looking for anything they could take, they went through everything we own."
She says the house was ransacked, almost every gift under the tree was stolen, and the crooks swiped electronics and other valuables.
It's a violating crime. Lowe and her husband are now taking steps to make their home more secure, and officials say you should too.
"Unfortunately, we always talk about these crimes during the holiday season," Baltimore City Police Detective Jeremy Silbert said.
He says folks get busy, and it's the perfect opportunity to be taken advantage of.
Ordering online and getting items delivered to your doorstep is convenient, but those parcels are also prime targets for thieves. Adding a security system to your Christmas list could help catch them in the act.
“Whether it's an alarm system, whether its cameras, more and more we're talking about crimes that are being solved because someone had a surveillance camera up," Silbert said.
Another way to protect your gifts from unwanted eyes is to make sure piles of presents can't been seen through doors and windows, officials recommend you close your curtains and blinds.
After opening your new gadgets, you can still be at risk. Many big ticket items like televisions and gaming systems all come in nice colorful boxes, and putting those out on the curb is like a huge advertisement.
"What that does is it alerts a bad guy that this is what's inside my house, these are the presents we got over the holidays,” Silbert said. “So we want to discourage people from doing that."
Police say you should be extra cautious about locking up your home and your cars, and never leave anything valuable inside your vehicle in plain sight.
Keep an eye out, and if you see anything suspicious or out of place, don't hesitate to call police, something Lowe wishes would have happened in her case.
"We didn't sleep well last night,” she said. “It's very stressful, I’m happy to have my family here though because I really don't want to be in the house by myself."
Unfortunately, this will be a holiday they will always remember.
Friends made a GoFundMe page to help the Lowe's raise money for new presents.
"No money can replace the time and effort they have put into this holiday season but maybe we can get their gifts back! A real life grinch stole their Christmas and now we need a real Christmas miracle to save their holiday," a friend of the couple's wrote on the page.
The page has raised $765 of the $1,500 goal as of Friday evening.