Escondido Police Save Holiday for Local Family

Officers come to the aide of 30-year-old Rebecca Lojeske who had her gifts stolen

By Joseph M.D. Young
|  Monday, Dec 19, 2011  |  Updated 9:40 AM PDT
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Cops Replace Family's Stolen Gifts

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A Valley Center woman had her holiday saved on Sunday morning when Escondido police arrived to her home with replacement gifts for ones that had been stolen.

30-year-old Rebecca Lojeske was making a last stop on a Christmas shopping trip when she returned to her car and realized that someone had broken into her it and stolen all of her gifts just before midnight, said Lt. Craig Carter of Escondido police.

“Rebecca was devastated by the loss,” said Carter who added that the gifts were for Lojeske’s 9-year-old son and two daughters ages 3 and 13 months.

Lojeske called EPD and filed a report, which is where this story commonly ends.

However, officers thought to do something to help Lojeske and her family, said Carter.

Once they let her go home, officers called Lojeske once again at 2 a.m. to get a detailed description of the gifts she lost.

Lojeske told them about the Anger Birds T-Shirt, set of Legos, Polly Pockets and Scooby Doo PJ’s she had bought, among other items and she thought the call was a routine follow-up, according to Carter.

It wasn’t until an hour and a half later that she would learn the true meaning behind the call.

After the report was completed, every working officer that Friday night, as well as dispatchers, helped gather together more than $300 to replace the gifts, said Carter.

Some officers went to a nearby Walmart and purchase the gifts Lojeske had mentioned earlier and at about 3:30 a.m. they arrived to Lojeske's door with the presents.

“All she saw was two Santa Clauses in her eyes,” said Carter. The officers also bought Lojeske a $50 gift card from both Visa and Walmart.

The officers, who requested to stay anonymous, said they just wanted to help.

“When you work in a profession that sees the ugliest side of society we all take great pride to help someone in need,” said one of the officers.

The event struck a chord with Lojeske’ son said Carter.

“She said he wanted to be an officer  and after this happened he wants to do it now. So it’s had an impact on the family.”

According to Carter, this sort of giving isn’t new to EPD. Officers recently got together to help send a homeless man in need of medical help home to his family by buying him a bus ticket.

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