ECTOR COUNTY, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – Christmas gifts meant for sick children at a West Texas hospital were stolen from the porch of an Ector County home.
The theft was caught on camera. The homeowners are asking the public for help identifying the man responsible for the Grinch-like crime on Saturday night just before 5:30 P.M.
Security video shows a dark-colored Ford Fiesta sedan pull into the long driveway of a home in Ector County, across from Pleasant Farms in the Nolan Acres neighborhood. A man exits the vehicle. The shadow of a second person can be seen sitting in the front seat of the car.
Video shows the soon-to-be-thief looking over the mound of boxes sitting on the porch of Denise Cazares Villa’s family home. The unknown man grabs a box. Then, another. With his hands full, the thief walks off Denise’s porch before leaving in the car with his accomplice.
But the thief wasn’t done. Surveillance images show the man return a second time that same night. Worse, he comes back a third time. All three instances occur in less than 25 minutes.
Denise Cazares Villa spoke with Yourbasin.com on the phone. She said her family was working the Odessa holiday parade this past weekend. Denise and her husband received a security notification on their phones indicating movement outside of their home. When they reviewed realtime security video, they saw a lone dog roaming their front yard. Minutes later, the thief would appear, setting off the same alert. Denise and her husband, assuming the dog had stayed put, put their phones away.
“It makes me really upset because he came back three different times,” Denise said. “I just hate that they did this to me. It messes with my mind and my security.”
The loss is estimated to be $1,500. The shipment of boxes from Wal-Mart held toys for young children undergoing treatment at University Medical Center (UMC) in Lubbock and for the families involved with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Southwest. Toys included headphones, Barbie dolls, stuffed animals, and even scooters. There was much more.
Denise and her family spent their previous Christmas at UMC and in a Ronald McDonald-sponsored home. The family’s late infant daughter, Jeniyse Amari Cazares Villa, was bravely fighting Rhabdoid cancer in her left kidney. Jeniyse passed away this year on March 27th. She was two years-old.
The gifts were meant to be in Jeniyse’s memory.
“I lost my daughter to cancer in March, and since we’re not celebrating Christmas this year, this was our way to give back to the hospital and the Ronald McDonald house that housed us,” Denise said.
The family has filed a report with the Ector County Sheriff’s Office.
On Saturday, later in the night, Denise said the same Ford Fiesta drove by her home, yet again. Near their home, Denise said she, and some of her family members, confronted the suspected thief. However, the suspect ditched his car near her home and ran off on foot. A front left tire was missing. The car was driving on a rim. Only a handful of items, like Play-Doh, were found inside.
The man is still on the run.
“To me, it means so much more than just a gift. It was the cause. It was going in honor of our daughter,” Denise said. “He just took that from us.”
Denise said she already promised the Lubbock hospital and the Ronald McDonald charity that she will bring gifts this Saturday, December 10th. She plans on re-purchasing whatever gifts she can afford – all in her daughter’s memory.
Anyone who is interested in helping Denise with her mission is invited to drop off an unwrapped gift at ‘Simplee Posh Boutique‘ in Odessa on 516 N Grant Avenue.
As for the thief, anyone with information about his whereabouts, and the toys, is encouraged to call Ector County Sheriff’s Office at (432) 335-3050.