WICHITA, Kansas – This year, Christmas was supposed to be different for the McLeroy family. Shanda began saving up money and getting gifts throughout the year, all in hopes of making the third christmas in their home the best one yet.
“I worked really hard to finish school and get a job so this was like the first good really Christmas so he got everything he wanted,” McLeroy said with tears in her eyes, “I made sure he got everything he needed, he asked for, checked everything off the list.”
But when Shanda walked through the door late Christmas Eve with her 9-year-old son Mario, the visions of joy were shattered to pieces.
“When we got home, we opened the front door and realized that our house had been broken into,” she said.
The burglary caught friends of the new teacher off guard. Now they’re hoping to see the community come together to bring some relief.
“I’m hoping that the people of Wichita find it in their hearts to try and help this family out because she’s helped a lot of people out,” her friend Lena Brooks said. “I think her and him deserve that.”
For now, the single mother is working to get things back in place and hoping to move, but with a son who is scared to come home, she wants to do what she can to restore a sense of safety at home first.
“He was so upset he didn’t even want to stay here last night,” said McLeroy he went to stay with my parents and he was up all night and he was just like this is the worst Christmas ever.”
“I wanted to cry, she don’t deserve that, nobody does and especially–they didn’t just steal from an adult they stole from a child and that’s pretty bad,” said Brooks.
The Wichita Police Department is investigating the incident, but they also provided these tips for people during the holiday season:
Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes. Lock them!
If you have an alarm, use it.
Turn on a light(s) both inside and outside. (automatic timer)
Place a hold on your mail, newspapers or any other deliveries.
When leaving home for an extended time, have a trusted neighbor or family member watch your house.
Do not leave your garbage cans on the curb for days.
Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.
Do not use social media postings to announce your plan.