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Strangers help soldier replace stolen gifts for daughter in Lodi

Army Corporal Chris Petrossian is seen with his 4-year-old daughter.

December 23, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Thieves nearly ruined Christmas for a soldier returning home to his family in Lodi. But a lot of kind strangers stepped in to save the holiday.

Army Corporal Chris Petrossian and his wife saved up to surprise their daughter with the biggest Christmas ever: over $5,000 in gifts.

Petrossian came home last week after 17 months in Afghanistan to find his home ransacked by robbers and everything was stolen.

When the community heard about it, residents -- including police officers and firefighters -- gathered up a large donation for the grateful family.

"Lodi is a great town. I have lived here a long time and like I said, absolute strangers, complete strangers have come together. Lodi Adopt A Child gave us a whole bag of toys for her. And she went to meet Santa today and she really loved that," said Petrossian.

The family has replaced 75 percent of what was stolen. Petrossian's 4-year-old daughter says she got the present already: daddy's home.