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Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - 10:25am
(CNN) — Thieves ruined a United States Soldier's Christmas surprise.
They swiped all of the gifts intended for his family. But, strangers have stepped in to save their holiday.
Army Corporal Chris Petrossian showing where thieves broke into a storage box.
"I do most of my shopping online because I don't have much time when I come home," said Petrossian. "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."
The couple had saved for the biggest Christmas ever, over $5,000 in gifts, video games, digital cameras and an iPad.
Petrosssian arrived home Wednesday, after 17 months in Afghanistan. His wife, Cheryl, was happy but also heartbroken after their home was ransacked.
Thieves broke in through a back window into the room of four-year old Cookie, but her favorite doll survived.
But, there's is a good Christmas ahead because people in Lodi are responding, including Lodi police and firefighters who made a large donation.
The family has been able to replace 75 percent of what was stolen, and despite what's happened, Cookie says she's got the best present already, her daddy is home.