It's the holiday decoration one Reading family wishes it didn't have to hang.
“When I came home my whole world fell, all the presents were gone,” said Susan Perez Thursday.
The decoration is a thank you card to the thief or thieves who broke into Susan Perez’s Mulberry Street home Tuesday morning and stole every single Christmas gift Lydia Cruz and Susan Perez had bought for Cruz’s three kids.
“They lost everything and its sad,” Perez said.
The women say not only did someone steal all the presents under the tree, but the ones hidden under the bed along with the kids' new shoes, birthday presents and other gifts.
They even took the only winter jacket Cruz's oldest son had.
“Whoever did this, they didn't hurt us, but they took from the kids and they should not have. To us, kids are angels,” said Perez.
Seeing her home ransacked and feeling violated was difficult, but the hardest part came when Cruz broke the news to her kids.
“I told them ‘Don't worry it's OK, they didn't take our spirit, only materialistic things,’” said Cruz.
Cruz lost her factory job two weeks ago and Perez has been out of work for the past month. The women say neither can afford to replace the things that were taken, but like their sign says, not even a crime like this can take away their Christmas spirit.
They say they're a stronger family because of it.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you. Yes, thank you, that nothing else happened and we didn't get hurt,” the women said.
The Reading Realty Group is accepting donations for the family.
Reading Realty Group
401 Oley Street
Reading, PA 19601
Donations can be dropped off at the office Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.