Heather and Josh Quezada’s family is like most, living paycheck to paycheck. So taking their 3- and 6-year-old children on a vacation to Disneyland was a very big deal.
“It was kind of our Christmas present that we had saved up for, to go to Disneyland,” says Heather.
“On December 17th, 2006 about 7:30 p.m. in the evening, Peoria Police Department and Fire Department responded to a fire,” says Phoenix Police Sergeant Paul Penzone.
While enjoying the happiest place on earth, the Quezada’s home on 76th Drive, south of Peoria was on fire.
Penzone says just “six hours later, they responded to a second call at the scene at the same home, which again was on fire.”
“That was everything that we had. The rest of the pictures and papers, birth certificates, everything,” says Heather.
The Quezadas arrived home the next day and Heather and Josh walked through the house with a detective. “When we walked in, we couldn’t even tell what things were. Some stuff was still standing with a lot of smoke damage, but there was really nothing left that was usable.”
And many items were missing. “Like a brand new computer like my parents just sent, jewelry boxes were missing, a bunch of DVDs were missing and I’m not sure if there was other stuff taken. We’re guessing that the Christmas presents under the tree were taken, or if they weren’t taken, they were definitely burned.”
The burglars lit the fires to cover their tracks. But Heather says she got to see some real Christmas spirit from friends and family to police officers and firefighters.
They donated gifts and goods and money to the family. “We can’t put it in words how grateful we are.”
Police are hoping you can help them find the Grinches who not only stole this family’s Christmas, they destroyed their home.
“To me it’s just unbelievable that somebody would do that, especially before Christmas,” says Penzone.
“And that person had kids, to know that the memories in the house are gone, you know, like Christmas tree ornaments and pictures. To think that somebody would do that and come back and do it again, I don’t know. There are just some sick people.”