JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) — When someone stole a single mom’s car, they got away with all the Christmas presents for her young son. But Jefferson County deputies were determined to make sure the thief didn’t take the joy out of their holiday.
“[Sarah] finished her shopping and hid the presents in her car so the spirit of Santa would remain alive. She did everything right; she hid the gifts from sight, parked in her assigned space and double checked the car was locked,” the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook. “However, Grinch stole her car and Christmas!”READ MORE: Trevor Woodruff Identified As Suspect In Deadly Shooting Outside Of Walgreens
The sheriff’s office said Sarah was overwhelmed with trying to figure out how she would get to work, let alone trying to replace the gifts.
“I woke up around 4:00 Thursday morning to let my dog out and noticed my car was not where I had parked it the night before,” Sarah Clement explained. “Where we live there’s nowhere for me to really store Christmas gifts, so I was keeping all that stuff in the back [of the car] covered up.”
“She was very upset. Not so much about her car getting stolen, but that her kid’s Christmas presents were missing. That kind of hit close to home being so close to Christmas,” Deputy Jeremy Cover said.
The deputy told other patrol deputies what had happened and together they donated several hundred dollars of their own money to replace nearly all of the gifts that were stolen — as well as cash to give the family to help them get through.
“It’s Christmas. She’s a single mom,” he told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “I could tell she worked so hard and she saved up all this money for her kid.”
Six-year-old Oliver loves his new green racecar, one of the toys the “JeffCo Elves” gave him along with a SWAT team patch and challenge coins.
“I like it because it goes like really fast,” he said of the remote controlled racecar.READ MORE: Maize In The City, Colorado Family Tradition, Opens For A New Year
But they didn’t stop there. Officers dressed Oliver up in SWAT gear when they learned he wants to be a police officer one day, just like his great-grandfather.
“Because they protect people from robbers who take people’s stuff,” he said.
Oliver even received his own SWAT patch!
“There were smiles, there were tears, there were hugs,” officials wrote.
“While the investigation into the stolen car remains ongoing, no Grinch will ruin this family’s Christmas on our watch,” the sheriff’s office stated.
Sarah told CBS4 she is overwhelmed and incredibly grateful for the JCSO’s generosity and compassion.
“It makes you kind of remember the season of giving and thanks. It brings me joy,” she said. “It turned into a very profound and wonderful learning opportunity for my son, showing him what it means to give back to people that are in need.”
Police describe the stolen vehicle as a 2016 silver Toyota 4Runner with license plate CDP-949.MORE NEWS: Colorado Task Force 1 No Longer On Alert Amid Intensifying Hurricane Sam
If anyone wants to help (unfortunately, the car was not insured for theft), please reach out to Victim Advocate Susan Sylvester at 720-497-7249 or firstname.lastname@example.org