Heartless crime | 

Real-life Grinch steals presents from under Christmas tree during burglary in Co Kerry

Burglar also drove off in the family’s car on a night that witnessed a spate of break-ins in Killarney and Castleisland

Stock image: The Grinch

Dónal NolanKerryman

A Co Kerry family have been left in shock after a real-life Grinch struck their home last night, entering through an unlocked back door and stealing presents from under the Christmas tree before driving off in the family car.

It was one of a number of burglaries in Killarney and Castleisland in the early hours of Friday morning that also saw another family car stolen, leading Kerry gardaí to once again warn the public over home security.

The gardaí are also now appealing for anyone with information to contact them in Castleisland and Killarney following the spate of crimes which hit both towns.

A Nissan Qashqai was stolen from the driveway of a house in the St John's Park estate in Castleisland during the night – after the burglar broke into the home and stole the car keys, while the family remained asleep upstairs.

They only noticed the break-in when they discovered the car missing in the morning.

Another break-in was foiled by dogs in a home just around the corner, meanwhile. A man was woken by his dogs barking at around 3am and saw – through a CCTV system installed in the home – a male at his back door in the Castleisland estate.

It’s believed the man had just managed to force entry before he was scared off by the dogs as they started barking.

Meanwhile in Killarney, a burglar gained entry to a home in an estate in the town through an unlocked back door, stealing Christmas presents from under the tree as well as the keys to a 2009 Toyota before driving off – unbeknownst to the sleeping family.

Another home in Killarney town centre was also struck last night when a burglar gained entry, again through an unlocked back door. A laptop computer and related items were stolen. Again, the family remained unaware of the break-in until they discovered the computer and items missing this morning.

Gardaí said they are advising everyone to ensure their properties are secure at night-time in light of the shocking crimes.

They have not ruled out the possibility that the Killarney and Castleisland burglaries were committed by the same person or gang.

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