CHANDLER, Ariz. (KSAZ)
It's a Christmas crime that almost ruined the holidays for one family, all of their gifts were stolen from their car. But the Chandler Police Department and a local charity came to the rescue to make sure the family had presents under their tree.
"First thing that came to me and my fiancée's mind was what are we gonna tell the kids in the morning," said Andrew Rountree.
Andrew Rountree and his fiancée Kathleen Lucas almost couldn't give their kids presents on Christmas day. They stored their presents in their car and waited until the kids fell asleep to put them under the tree. But when they went outside early Christmas morning, those presents were gone. Someone broke into the car and stole everything.
"My heart started racing, I was just bent out of shape, I didn't understand why anyone would do that," said Kathleen Lucas.
Andrew and Kathleen called the police but didn't know how to tell their children what had happened.
"I came in, and I was just crying because I didn't know what to say about it," said Kathleen.
But one of the responding officers got ahold of the 9-1-1 Police and Fire Toy Drive. W. Steven Martin started the toy drive 30-years-ago and says his charity gets calls from law enforcement during emergencies involving children.
"They will call and our guy here, the midnight Santa will find out what gifts, and what age bracket are needed, he'll pull them so we can get them back to that family as soon as possible," said W. Steven Martin.
That midnight Santa chose gifts for Andrew and Kathleen's children from the toy drive's warehouse, and a few hours later there was a knock on the couple's door.
But even though the gifts were replaced, they still wanted to tell their kids what happened.
"I explained to them what happened, and I told them four angels came and brought their Christmas gifts, showed them a picture I took of the officers and let them know what happened, and they were just happy somebody thought of them," said Kathleen.
Andrew and Kathleen can't say thank you enough and hope their story sends a message about law enforcement officers.
"You see cops being ridiculed on Facebook and TV all the time, and it just shows that there are cops out there that really care," said Andrew.
The toy drive collects toys year round.