Christmas presents returned to Phoenix family after home burglary

PHOENIX - A Phoenix family got the call they've been waiting for after their home was hit by burglars the day before Christmas.

Tim and Alice Searles, who just moved to the Valley, came home on Christmas Eve to find their home completely ransacked.

Some of the items stolen were two laptops, an Amazon Kindle, checkbooks, a green card and a handful of expensive jewelry. The Searles estimate they lost more than $15,000 worth of their belongings.

Phoenix police arrested 31-year-old Thomas Drye Monday on charges related to the Searles' burglary and at least two others. Police found the stolen items in Drye's car.

Although the items returned to the Searles weren't the most expensive, they're thankful because they have sentimental value.

"I am a missionary and I got my 15 grandchildren reindeer toys from Thailand that they don't make anymore. I was heartbroken when they were stolen, but now that I can give them to the grandkids it means a lot. I tell them to wish for grandma when they hold them, and I have one too so I wish for them when I look at it," said Alice.

Along with the reindeer stuffed animals, police were also found two passports and some jewelry. Alice said she was told by police that it will take another two days to go through all the items in the car. She is hopeful more of her belongings will be returned in the near future.

"I am so thankful for what I got back. I have to thank all the detectives and the police department for their help in this case, otherwise I wouldn't be able to give my grandchildren their special presents this Christmas," said Alice.

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