When Jose M. Garcia, 38, who lives in the 1600 block of West Fourth Place in Kennewick, arrived home late Christmas Eve night, he found that his back door had been forced open and thieves had stolen all the gifts under his Christmas tree, said Sgt. Ken Lattin with the Kennewick Police reported.
But the KPD, along with an alert neighbor, weren't about to let the culprits get away with the loot.
At about 10 p.m., the KPD received a call from a concerned citizen about three suspicious males hiding behind an air conditioning unit in the 400 block of South Sharron Street.
When police arrived to canvas the area with flashlights they found the three suspects hiding behind the AC unit opening gifts, which included a Barbie scooter.
Two of the suspects, Gabriel Orosco-Alaniz and Isai Alvarez, both 18 and from Kennewick, were apprehended at the scene, but a third, Carlos Sanchez, 18 of Pasco, got away, Lattin said.
But there is a happy ending to this crime story. As it turns out, the gifts the trio of thieves were opening all belonged to Garcia, and were returned in time for rewrapping for Christmas morning.
The two who were arrested were suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, police said.
They were booked into the Benton County jail on residential burglary charges. Police are seeking the whereabouts of Sanchez and ask that if anyone has information on him to call the Kennewick Police Department hotline at 586-TIPS, 1-800-222-TIPS or go to www.tricitiescrimestoppers.org.