Problem Solvers step in and get child’s stolen Christmas gift replaced

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WESTMINSTER, Colo. – A Denver family had a Christmas gift stolen by a thief who had targeted them inside a local Wal-Mart.

Matthew Garcia’s wife had been shopping at the Wal-Mart near 72nd and Sheridan in Westminster on Saturday when the crime happened.

She had just purchased her 9-year-old son a $90 tablet. Since it was an electronic, she had to purchase it in the back of the store in the electronics department.

After she made the purchase, she had a little more shopping to do, so she kept the purchased tablet in the cart.

While looking at some baby’s clothing, the thief came along and snatched the tablet without her noticing it.

Wal-Mart captured the incident on surveillance footage, but told the family there was nothing they could do – in terms of getting them a new tablet or refunding them.

“At the same time I feel it’s their [Wal-Mart’s] fault for making her purchase something and leaving it unattended knowing she has other shopping to do,” said Matthew Garcia.

The Garcia’s don’t have much. They live in a tiny two bedroom apartment with their five children.

On Christmas, each child gets one gift. Since their 9-year-old son Emilliano had done so well in school this year, they decided to splurge by buying him the tablet.

“It’s very difficult because it’s not like you’re purchasing for one or two. When you have six, you have to spread everything by six,” Garcia said.

Frustrated by Wal-Mart’s response, Garcia reached out to the FOX31 Denver Problem Solvers. We contacted Wal-Mart’s corporate office and explained the situation to them.

Two hours later, a spokesperson from Wal-Mart contacted us and said they would either refund the tablet or give the family a new one in return.

The Garcia’s chose the new tablet and now Emilliano will get his Christmas gift.

The suspect is described as a white male in his late 40s or early 50s. He was wearing glasses and had a goatee. He’s about 5’8”, has a skinny build and was missing some teeth. At the time, he was wearing a black hoodie and a hat.