PEMBERTON TWP. Three teenagers are accused of stealing a woman's Christmas, snatching presents from under the tree in her home Wednesday while she smoked a cigarette in the backyard.
The woman told police she woke up sometime before 6 a.m., turned on her Christmas tree lights, and unlocked her front door in anticipation of arriving guests. The woman then went to smoke a cigarette behind her home, on the 400 block of Colorado Trail.
She soon heard her front door open. When she went inside to investigate, she found it wasn't Santa making a late delivery. Instead, the woman interrupted three teens underneath her Christmas tree, stealing her family's presents, including those intended for her 7-year-old daughter.
The woman chased the three up the street as they ran with packages in hand. She was able to get a description of their vehicle and pass it on to police. A patrolman stopped a car fitting the description and arrested its occupants, Eric Conover, 19; Corey Morgan, 18; and an unidentified 17-year-old.
The investigation didn't end there. A second resident on Colorado reported a break-in of his car. Nothing appeared to have been taken, he said, but the contents of his glove compartment and center console were emptied onto his front seat.
A search of the car turned up one of the stolen presents, police said, as well as shreds of wrapping paper consistent with that used by a resident of the burglarized home. During interrogation, police said, the teens admitted to the burglaries of the house and car.
The juvenile was released to his parents. Morgan and Conover spent a not-so-merry Christmas in the Burlington County Jail with bail set at $75,000.