Normandy, Mo., Police Chief Frank Mininni said members of the community had been steadily visiting the police station Tuesday after reading about the Lilly family. Father Timothy Lilly said the clan had gone to church last weekend when someone broke into their home, unwrapped all the presents sitting under the tree and stole the children's toys.
When they arrived home, Lilly said his children were heartbroken and in tears, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday.
The story touched people in the area and community members called police to ask where they could send a donation to help the family replace the stolen presents. By Monday afternoon, Mininni said more than $1,300 had been given, in addition to a $300 prepaid credit card supplied by members of the police department.
"It's really neat to see the community come out and support the family," he said. "It kind of restores your faith in the Christmas holiday."
Police have charged 18-year-old Leonard Dailey with two counts of burglary and one count of stealing after the incident. Detectives were able to identify him thanks to tracks left in snow. They said he also had an accomplice who's yet to be identified.
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