By Cambi Brown

LODI (CBS13) – There’s a painful void left behind for a Lodi soldier and his family. Where their Christmas presents once sat, the floor is now bare after a burglary.

“I spent a lot and now it’s all gone,” said Chris Petrossian.

After 18 months in Afghanistan, Petrossian had finally saved enough money to buy everything on his family’s Christmas list. He mailed the gifts to his home in Lodi, but his family didn’t know he planned to be there when they opened them. It was a surprise reunion destroyed by an act of selfishness.

“They took all the electronics and the presents we had,” he said.

Petrossian was at the airport when he learned a burglar stole all the family’s gifts. That’s when he called his family to tell them he was coming home.

“It’s really stressful because you can’t be there. There’s nothing you can do,” said Petrossian.

Not only was almost everything of value in the home stolen, but now Petrossian worries for his family’s safety.

“They came through her window, and that’s my daughter’s room. She sleeps there,” he said.

However, there is one silver lining to the story. The Lodi police officer who responded to the burglary is also a veteran and wanted to make sure this family still had a Christmas.

“He sent out an email to the police department and said this happened to a vet and asked for contributions,” said Petrossian.

The response was overwhelming to the family. They say they still have the Christmas spirit.

“We aren’t letting this get us down,” said Petrossian.


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