Friends save Rushden family’s Christmas after presents stolen from car boot

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A Rushden family had their Christmas saved by generous friends after a thief stole their presents.

Graeme Allan woke on December 23 to find his children’s gifts from Santa had been stolen from his car in Clarence Court.

But facing an empty stocking and some heartbroken children, some of his neighbours stepped in and bought new presents.

Mr Allan says his children – Hermione (seven), Penelope (five) and Gabriel (three) – have not stopped playing with the toys since.

He said: “Our boot was full of presents and we thought the car would be safe on the driveway.

“The next day they had all gone and Hermione overheard that it was the presents which had been taken when the police came.

“Thankfully we have got a couple of friends who went out on Christmas Eve and bought the kids more presents and wrapped them.

“They didn’t want us to say who they were from, just that the presents were from Santa.

“The kids haven’t stopped playing with them since.

“We didn’t let it ruin the day and we all had great fun.”

The alleged perpetrator was later caught by Mr Allan after a chase which ended up with him trapping the suspect by sitting on him.

Mr Allan says he found the suspect after information from neighbours before performing a citizen’s arrest.

He said: “When I found him I grabbed him and literally sat on him until the police came.

“It mean spending 10 minutes on the floor in the freezing cold but it was worth it.”

Northamptonshire Police say a 40-year-old man has been arrested and charged over the incident.