Local News

Soldier's house robbed on Christmas Eve in Raeford

Posted December 24, 2015 11:20 p.m. EST
Updated December 25, 2015 10:50 p.m. EST

— A soldier in Raeford is trying to pick up the pieces after thieves ransacked his family's house and took the gifts meant for his three small children.

Christine and Joseph Cottier returned home on Christmas Eve to find that someone broke into their son’s bedroom, stole Christmas presents and also left garbage on the front porch.

The Cottier’s said they were out of town since Dec. 18 visiting family.

“Kids like that are emotional and they’re going to feel it and we’re going to feel it,” Christine Cottier said. “We know it’s not because they’re bad, it’s because somebody else was.”

Joseph Cottier has served in the military for the past 11 years, but his most important job now, he says, is making sure his children know they’re safe.

Other soldiers have stepped in to help, but the family still faced with the task of restoring their children’s sense of security.

“Their biggest thing is their sense of security. Their home is their safe place,” he said. “It’s where they’re supposed to be safe at all time. To have somebody come in and take that from them, it’s trying to build that safe place back.”

The family said they’re staying at a friend’s house Christmas Even night and open presents with their children in the morning.

“I was more the look on their faces and the fact that all I could think was that they’re going to think Santa Claus didn’t want to bring them anything,” Christine Cottier said. “Because, you know, you threaten your kids throughout the year and say, ‘If you’re not good Santa’s not going to bring you anything.’ Come Christmas day and there’s nothing there, they’re going to think the worst things.”