A U.S. Army staff sergeant, stationed in South Florida, was the victim of a burglary at his Pembroke Pines home. Giovanny Prieto came home last Thursday to find his house broken into. The thief or thieves smashed through the master bedroom and ransacked the home, stealing the family’s valuables, Christmas gifts and sense of security.
“The first thing that went through my mind was ‘what should I do now?’” said Prieto.
The active duty soldier lives at the home with his wife and three children. He served in Afghanistan. Prieto is now stationed at Southern Command in Doral, but he travels for work frequently.
He believes the crooks jumped a fence and used a brick to smash the window to get in. Prieto says among the valuables stolen were his wedding ring and gun. “My personal weapon was hidden underneath all the uniforms,” said Prieto.
The couple’s oldest son is autistic and the burglary has put a dent in the family’s Christmas. “It was so hard for me to see my kids crying because they are very nervous, ‘oh mom, someone entered our house. What do we do now?’ It was so hard for me,” said Prieto’s wife, Wanedqui Ocasio.
The couple says they had to save money and make adjustments throughout the year to be able to buy the Christmas gifts that were suddenly swiped from them. “Our family has always worked hard for what we have. Nothing has been given, everything has been earned,” explained Prieto.
Family friends who heard about the burglary set up a GoFund Me page to raise money to bring Christmas cheer back to the Prieto household. So far, the GoFund Me page has already passed its goal with 47 donations in three days. If you would like to help the family, click here.
The suspect or suspects remain on the run. If you have information on this incident, call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.