Christmas Stolen From Fort Smith Family

Posted on: 10:35 pm, December 30, 2013, by , updated on: 10:52pm, December 30, 2013

A Fort Smith family was robbed of their Christmas presents days before the holiday, with the suspected thieves being caught on home video surveillance.

Rafael Raya, his wife and their seven children returned home from volunteering at their church the evening of Dec. 21 to find someone had broken into their home through a window, damaged their property and stolen $2,000 worth of Christmas gifts, police said.

Police said home security footage showed at least two men on the property, peering into windows and trying to break into the Raya family’s house.

“The camera is looking down at him, and he’s on the front porch,” said Cpl. Patricia Sullivan with the Fort Smith Police Department. “He actually sees the camera at one point and flips it up.”

Police described the suspect as a man about five feet, nine inches tall, with a medium to large build, wearing a sweatshirt and a knit cap. A description for the second suspect has not been released.

Raya said the experience “ruined” Christmas for his children. He has promised his children he will try to replace the stolen gifts.

Police are investigating similar burglaries in the area, but are unsure at this point if they are related, they said.

Anyone with information about the investigation is encouraged to call the River Valley Crimestoppers at 78-CRIME.