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'Real life Grinch': Man steals packages from Florida home right before Christmas

Posted at 6:29 PM, Dec 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-24 20:29:58-05

TAMPA, Fla. -- A real life Grinch. That’s what a Tampa family is calling the man who stole their presents right from their front porch and right before Christmas.

Kristen Nyilas says on Monday afternoon, she got a notification her packages had been delivered to her Terrace Drive home in South Tampa.

"I rushed home and when I got there, it wasn’t there," said Nyilas.

Nyilas says she figured there was some explanation but decided to look at her surveillance video. And only 10 minutes after they were delivered, she saw a man run up and take them.

"He had pulled up and he gathered all the packages, and ran back. He was driving himself because he threw all the packages in his car. I was furious," said Nyilas.

The stolen packages were gifts totaling around $500. But one of them was a very special gift.

"It was a photo album I made that was special. It took me about 15 hours to make it," said Nyilas.

The album was something Nyilas was going to give her entire family on Christmas Day.

"It's just aggravating that they took it. The fact that it means nothing to them but it means the world to me," said Nyilas.

Hours after Nyilas shared her story with WFTS reporter Wendi Lane, the Tampa Police Department arrested the suspect. Police say the suspected package thief, identified as 54-year-old Richard Gohn, stole multiple packages from other homes as well.

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TPD said it received multiple reports of package thefts in and around the 3800 block of Barcelona Street.

Police are working to contact the victims, including Nyilas, to return the stolen packages.

This story was originally published by Wendi Lane at WFTS.