LODI, Calif. (AP) — Army Cpl. Chris Petrossian was in Afghanistan when his frightened wife called to say robbers stole the thousands of dollars' worth of Christmas gifts he had ordered online and shipped to his Northern California home.
The corporal now on leave from his third tour of duty wanted to surprise his wife and two daughters with gifts like an iPad and digital camera. Thanks to fellow residents of Lodi, he will be able to give his family the Christmas he envisioned while he was away, KCRA-TV in Sacramento reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/1fS3wnh ).
"After being gone that long, you want to have a good Christmas and good homecoming," said the 27-year-old Petrossian, who returned from a 17-month deployment on Wednesday. "It was all sitting on the desk and they just ripped open all the packages and helped themselves to whatever they wanted, which was everything."
He told the television station that he has been able to replace about three-quarters of the stolen gifts with the community's donations, including money collected by local police and firefighters. The city is about 35 miles south of Sacramento.
"I have lived here a long time, and absolute strangers, complete strangers have come together," he said.
Petrossian got the call Monday about the break-in that left his family's home ransacked. Lodi police are investigating the robbery that claimed an estimated $5,000 worth of merchandise.
Petrossian's wife, Cheryl, told the Lodi News-Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1a1XwUf ) that the break-in made her even more grateful for having her husband home for the holidays.
"I don't know what I would do here, right now, without him," she said.
Information from: KCRA-TV.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
A cognitively challenged young woman who went missing from a Lomita-area group home was found and reunited with her family Tuesday, authorities reported.
The San Diego City Council Tuesday unanimously pledged to build more than 1,000 total housing units for the city's homeless population by January 2021.
San Diego chillest sea lion was relaxing in a safer spot Tuesday. The adorable animal brought traffic to a standstill in Point Loma on Monday as she rolled around on Rosecrans Street.
A pilot escaped injury after his vintage single-engine plane crashed and burst into flames on a Southern California freeway Tuesday, authorities said.
Police asked for the public's help Tuesday to find an 88-year-old man diagnosed with dementia, among other ailments, who went missing from his La Jolla home.
The Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Foundation announced Tuesday a $25 million donation to UC San Diego to help establish a school of public health.
An electric-scooter rider was seriously injured Tuesday in a solo accident on a Golden Hill thoroughfare, San Diego police reported.
The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday announced its support for Proposition 6, which would repeal California's gas tax, among a suite of endorsements for local races and state propositions.
News 8 takes a look at California propositions that you'll be voting on in November and exactly what they mean.
The November election is closing in, and as usual, there are plenty of propositions on the ballot. News 8 takes a look at each measure, starting with California Props 1-4 on bonds.