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SECOND HIGH POINT ROBBERY / GRINCHES STEAL FAMILY'S CHRISTMAS
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SECOND HIGH POINT ROBBERY / GRINCHES STEAL FAMILY'S CHRISTMAS

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Burglars unwrap Christmas presents before stealing them from a High Point family.

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Robert Lee Brooks won't have much to cheer about this Christmas - thanks to thieves so brazen they could make even a Grinch's blood run cold.

According to police, burglars unwrapped presents underneath his family's Christmas tree, rummaged through the refrigerator, rifled through bedroom drawers and took what they wanted from his Paramount Street home.But they didn't finish their deed until they ate a couple of candy bars and drank a soft drink they found in the refrigerator.

``Physical things can be replaced,' Brooks said Tuesday. ``But the mental anguish. It will take some time to get over this.'

On Monday, burglars pried open a bedroom window with a tire iron, climbed into the three-bedroom house in broad daylight and treated themselves to what they wanted beneath the Brookses' Christmas tree, police said.

For them, it was like Christmas morning. They unwrapped presents, scattered the wrapping paper around the living room and took an automatic shotgun, video game, full-length denim coat, gun case, reversible coat and video game player. They helped themselves to eight steaks from the refrigerator and lifted $20 in change and various video game cartridges from Brooks' son's room.

Leaving a frozen dinner and a cube-steaks package on the counter, the thieves exited the house through a sliding glass door, shutting the back gate behind them so the Brookses' Pomeranian, Fritz, wouldn't get out. Police estimated the total loss at $1,584.

``All in all, it's a heck of a shot,' said Brooks, 33, a trailer mechanic.

Monday's incident represents High Point's second burglary in less than a month in which thieves stole presents from under a Christmas tree. Police say they don't believe the two are related.

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