HANOVER TWP. — A real-life Grinch swiped money Lisa Scoffone painfully saved during the year for Christmas presents for her two sons, Billy, 12, and Joseph, 4.
Barring a miracle happening today, the boys will have no presents to open Christmas morning.
Scoffone reported the theft to Hanover Township police on Friday when she noticed $250 missing from an envelope she had in a dresser drawer, and $160 from her wallet she planned to use to buy food for a Christmas dinner.
“I’ve been crying ever since not knowing what to do,” Scoffone said from her tidy apartment on Monday.
She said she saved a little money each month that she placed in a envelope marked “Xmas money” she kept in a dresser drawer. She believes the money was taken by a man who accompanied a woman who brought her her medicine.
“He asked to use the bathroom and he went upstairs,” Scoffone said. “After they left, I went upstairs and noticed my bedroom door open and my drawers open and an empty envelope. He even looked under my mattress.”
Hanover Township police confirmed Scoffone had reported the theft, but no one has been charged yet.
Scoffone said she has suffered migraine headaches ever since she was attacked by her estranged boyfriend, Joseph Dunaj, 29, inside her residence in March 2012. She suffered numerous stab wounds, including a severe laceration that nearly sliced her jugular vein in her neck. A broken knife blade in her skull had to be surgically removed.
She has limited use of her hand due to tendons being cut in her fingers and continues to suffer back pain from the brutal attack that was witnessed by her two sons.
Dunaj was sentenced in January to 7.6 to 15 years in state prison.
After she had recovered, Scoffone moved in to take care of her 83-year-old grandmother, Joan Rasmus, in Warrior Run. Tragedy struck Scoffone once again as a fire destroyed Rasmus’ residence on Slope Street in October.
“It’s tough for a single mother on a limited income; it’s one tragedy after another,” Scoffone said. “I’m providing for my children, but when someone steals money right out from under you, money you saved throughout the year, it’s sickening. That guy didn’t steal my money, he stole money I saved for Christmas for my sons.”
Without any money, Scoffone said she is unable to fulfill Billy’s and Joseph’s Christmas lists to Santa.
While Billy’s wishes for an iPod and an iPhone is probably a stretch, Scoffone said he is in need of shoes and clothes, especially for school. Shoe size 10 1/2 and long-sleeve solid colors for shirts - size large - with a collar as Hanover Area has a dress code.
Joseph’s wish gift from Santa is 12 years too early.
“I want a quad,” the little boy said.
Scoffone said her youngest became fixated on an all-terrain vehicle when he saw one at a hay ride in October.
Joseph said he likes robots and the Transformers.
“It’s going to be hard Christmas morning if a miracle doesn’t happen,” Scoffone said.