Dad spots children’s stolen Christmas presents on Facebook after police appeal

David Jones, 51, was left devastated when the gifts were taken earlier this month from his car boot in Bristol.

David Jones, 51, and son Oli, 11. (SWNS)
David Jones, 51, and son Oli, 11. (SWNS)

A dad was shocked to find his children's stolen Christmas presents in a police appeal on Facebook after they were nicked from the boot of his car.

David Jones, 51, was devastated when the gifts were taken earlier this month. He thought he'd never see them again and started buying more until a colleague contacted him when he saw them online.

They showed head chef David, from Bristol, pictures of the gifts on a social media post put up by police - who were trying to find the owners. David immediately contacted Avon and Somerset police and the force is now hoping to reunite the presents and their rightful owners on Saturday.

David, dad to Jess, 15, and Oli, 11, said: "I just couldn’t bring myself to tell the kids until it all came out yesterday. I was so taken aback when they were found – it’s just amazing and I’m grateful to everyone who’s helped get them back.”

David had seen family in Longwell Green, South Gloucestershire, on 12 December and picked up presents for his children while he was there. With plans to go to his partner’s house the next day, he decided to leave the gifts in the car overnight.

But the next morning he was shocked to discover the boot was empty – and the glove compartment of the car had been raided. After putting in a report to the police he kept the missing presents a secret and hoped to buy new gifts before anyone realised.

The presents were spotted on a police appeal on Facebook. (SWNS)
The presents were spotted on a police appeal on Facebook. (SWNS)

David said: “I thought all the presents were gone – I didn’t know what to do. It's Christmas and it would have been devastating for the kids not to have their presents.

“I went out to start the car so it could get warm, and all the glove compartment was out but I thought it was the kids. I went to boot and it was open and all the presents were gone.

“My sister went and bought some more presents for the kids, I was going to try and buy everyone else's gifts again but we don’t need to do that now."

David’s colleague had spotted the names on the name tags on the police appeal and realised they matched – and when David saw the pictures, he recognised the handwriting and names of his sisters. He contacted the police who then reached out to sister Debbie Stevens, who confirmed what was in the parcels.

Debbie added: “I couldn’t believe it when I was told but then we found the Facebook post. It’s such an amazing story and I’m so grateful they’ve been found.”

Police said presents were found in a car which was reported stolen from an address in the Redfield area of Bristol at 10.25am on 13 December. Some 40 minutes are receiving the report, officers located the vehicle being driven in the Stokes Croft area.

They stopped it and arrested a man and a woman on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle. They remain on police bail while further enquiries are carried out. Insp Matt Boiles said: "We’re so pleased to be able to return these stolen Christmas presents."

The presents were stolen from a car boot. (SWNS)
The presents were stolen from a car boot. (SWNS)

Christmas crime prevention tips

Here are eight tips from Northamptonshire Police to help prevent crime this Christmas:

  • Deter burglars by installing lighting and a smart doorbell or CCTV camera outside your home.

  • Beware of distraction burglars. If you’re not sure, don’t open the door.

  • Don’t tempt burglars into your home by leaving valuables or Christmas presents on show.

  • Christmas shopping? Make sure your vehicle is locked and no valuables or shopping bags are on display.

  • This winter, deter burglars by making sure you keep your doors and windows locked at all times.

  • Away over Christmas? Plan ahead to make sure burglars don’t break in! Cancel any deliveries and arrange for a trusted neighbour to park on the driveway. On social media don’t advertise that you are going away.

  • Give the impression your house is occupied by leaving a light on when going out at night, and using light timer switches when going away.

  • Prevent your car from being stolen this winter by keeping it locked with keys out of sight and if keyless, in a Faraday pouch.

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