Mom of three Jessica Glover took to the road the Tuesday before Christmas. She packed her kids -- ages two, five, and seven -- and headed north for gramma's house in Cambridge. Hubby Willie Peters would join his family three days later.
Back in Minneapolis, a friend house sat the Glover's abode on 44th Avenue North. The family left behind three unwrapped presents, which had been donated by a church in south Minneapolis.
One was a bead bracelet and necklace making kit for the seven-year-old daughter so Glover and the girl could spend some quality "mommy and daughter time together." A remote control car awaited the middle kid so he could enjoy some QT with dad. There was also a doll for the toddler.
"I'd brought some of the presents up north, but we also wanted them to believe Santa had come to our house," Jessica says. "That's why the presents were left behind at the house."
Glover's phone rang on Christmas Eve. Somebody had broken in, the house sitter reported. They snagged the kids' Christmas presents, the Xbox, video games, and "anything else that was loose that they could grab easily," according to Glover. Their cat was found wandering outside.
The quintet returned to Minneapolis Christmas day. The kids were so shaken they couldn't sleep. They cried most of the night.
"They were terrified of being in the house," Glover says, "and we left right after that."
Mom and the kids went back to Cambridge. Peters remained in the city to work.
Minneapolis police spokesperson Sgt. Catherine Michal says they have no suspects, but investigators are monitoring transactions at area pawn shops. Neighbors reported seeing an unidentified man running through the neighborhood carrying a gaming system on the morning of December 23.
"I lied to the kids, telling them they caught the guy," says Glover. "I do know there's other people's houses that have gotten broken into by probably the same guy, and that they haven't come forward on social media or called the police. I don't know why that is. But I hope they do. They need to catch this person because I don't want this to happen to anybody else's family."