ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A group of Albuquerque police officers reacted while working the case of a local father accused of stealing Christmas from his kids to buy drugs.
An interview with a 5-year-old boy at the home made it clear Santa wasn't going to be coming to his house this year and a few police officers took it upon themselves to change that.
It started with a routine domestic dispute call to this southwest Albuquerque neighborhood on December 1 st, an estranged husband trying to get into his wife's house.
But when Albuquerque police started asking questions, they realized something was different about this one.
"You see families struggling and then you see families struggling to do everything better," says officer Amanda Christensen with Albuquerque Police.
Christensen and officer Deloris Sanchez say this mother of three boys fit in that last category.
"The admiration I had for this individual was above and beyond. She refused to be a victim," Christensen says.
She tried to comfort the mother's 5-year-old son.
"I was trying to talk to him and ask, ‘Are you ready for Santa?' He was quiet and hesitant," Christensen says.
"It seemed like maybe he had already been informed Santa wasn't coming and it broke my heart because you want Christmas to be magical for kids," Sanchez says.
So they collected about $500, went to Walmart and brought the family everything from a full turkey dinner to stocking stuffers and plenty of presents to put under the tree.
"In the back of my head, I keep picturing what Christmas morning is going to be like for them. I'm just really happy for them," Sanchez says.
The mother didn't talk with us but the police officers say she's starting a new job and doing really well.
Officers say they plan on keeping in touch with the family to make sure they get back on their feet.
Deputies were led on a chase around 4 p.m. Monday after a person called 911 to report their vehicle had been stolen and was being driven recklessly around Albuquerque.
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