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Amherst family's van found after it was stolen from driveway

Posted at 5:37 PM, Dec 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-24 10:48:32-05

AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — An Amherst family says their van was found abandoned late Monday night at an NFTA station, after it was stolen out of their driveway on Callodine Avenue Monday morning.

The first thing Daniel Puglise did when he woke up to the empty driveway was check his security camera footage.

"Got to watch the thieves take it at 4:30 in the morning," he said.

The Puglise's spent all of Sunday Christmas shopping for their kids. The gifts were still in the van, hidden under a bin.

Now, the van is back in the family's driveway and all of the gifts are still there.

"It hits home to us, I'm just happy that everything is there and the outpouring support from the community," said Puglise.

Neighbors showed up with a basket full of gift cards for the family. He plans to use those to buy Christmas gifts to donate to Toys for Tots.

The two people in the video were around Puglise's home for approximately 15 minutes. Someone first approached Puglise's neighbor's car, crossed the street, and then examined another car and waved over a second person. A few minutes later the they approached Puglise's van on the left, and then drove off with the family's car just before 4:45 am.

"It kind of sucks that somebody, you know, that sleazy enough to break in and steal stuff that's not theirs," he said.

Puglise is almost positive that he locked the car, but said with five kids, it's possible that one of them left a door open. Everything from coats to car seats were left behind in the car, but that's not all.

"We just want our car back, that's our only vehicle, that's my means to work," he said.

Anyone with information on who may have stolen the van can contact the Amherst Police Department at 716-689-1311.