VICTORIA -- Several island families will be happy to see gifts placed back under their trees after West Shore RCMP recovered a number of stolen Christmas presents earlier this month.

Mounties say the presents were stolen from properties near the 3100-block of Jacklin Road.

The investigation began after officers were called to an apartment building in the area for reports of a theft.

Investigators reviewed surveillance footage of the building and found that a woman had entered the apartment complex after she buzzed random apartment units until one resident unlocked the front doors for her. Once inside, she then walked to the building’s underground parking area and began trying to open unlocked car doors, say police.

The woman eventually left the parkade but left behind a bag. Inside the bag, Mounties say they found items that were likely Christmas presents due to their packaging and wrapping.

“With no return address, the officer began the tedious task of trying to identify which stolen items belonged to whom,” said West Shore RCMP in a release Monday.

Eventually, police found that several families living in nearby apartment complexes had recently had deliveries stolen from their porches.

The gifts were all returned to their rightful owners, including sentimental presents – such as a handmade children’s doll.

The woman who allegedly stole the presents has since been arrested and will likely face recommended charges of theft, possession of stolen property and trespassing, say police.

“We see many thefts from vehicles during the holiday season,” said Const. Nancy Saggar of the West Shore RCMP.

“It is a good practise to lock your car doors and take your valuables with you. If you are getting packages delivered to your home, try a scheduled delivery or have a trusted neighbour keep an eye out for your property,” she said.