A grinch tried to steal Christmas from a Salem woman and her four-year-old boy, but local residents brimming with Yuletide cheer have helped restore their holiday spirit.
On Thursday, the 26-year-old mother told Salem police that toys donated through the Globe Santa program, which provides gifts for children in need, had been stolen.
Salem police Lieutenant Conrad Prosniewski said the package the toys were shipped in was found cut open and empty in the hallway to the apartment building where the woman and her son live.
Shortly after Boston TV station WHDH aired a report about the theft Sunday, Prosniewski said, calls started coming in with offers to help the family, whom police did not name. People started bringing in toys to the police station. One man came with his two sons, who had used their allowance money to buy the presents.
“To watch these people come out for something like this I guess that’s what Christmas is all about,’’ Prosniewski said. “It’s heartwarming to see.’’
Police brought some of the donated toys to the house Sunday afternoon.
“She was crying she so was happy,’’ Prosniewski said. “What she doesn’t know is there’s a bunch more coming.’’
Police plan to drop off the rest of the toys off Monday afternoon — more than a dozen bags of them.
“This four-year-old is going to have one heck of a Christmas,’’ said Prosniewski.