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A ‘Christmas Miracle’ for West Valley City family after car packed with gifts is stolen

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Posted at 6:47 PM, Dec 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-23 20:51:04-05

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah - Members of the West Valley City fire and police departments spread some holiday cheer to a family whose car was stolen.

A West Valley City mother was heartbroken after her car was stolen from her driveway, along with the presents for her two children tucked away in the trunk.

Less than 24 hours after Elisa Velasquez reported her stolen vehicle to police, she tracked down her car at a nearby convenience store. When she tried to block the car in so the suspect couldn’t get away, he took off.

Mary Lindsay-Vonk, a firefighter, felt compelled to help after she responded to the mothers frantic call.

“We were dispatched on a call for a breathing problem," Vonk said. "We get there and the mom is just devastated, crying in her vehicle. Her children were in there crying in the vehicle also, because they thought Santa wasn't going to be coming.”

Lindsay-Vonk called on her friends at the police department, who help families in need during the holidays.

“We happened to have extra money left over this year. We were able to use some of that money and help out this family,” said Sgt. Trudy Cropper with the West Valley City Police Department.

They joined forces by shopping for the family of four, wrapped the gifts, and loaded them into a fire truck. Then they made the big reveal at the Velasquez’s home, where they were greeted by the family.

“Remember how I told you I have a direct line to Santa Claus?” asked Lindsay-Vonk. “Guess what? Santa came to the fire station and the cop cars, so we are going to empty that ambulance and get a whole bunch of presents from Santa Claus.”

Santa’s elves unloaded all the gifts and placed them under the Christmas tree.

Mother Elisa was overjoyed at the outpouring of love.

“It is a little Christmas miracle,” Elisa Velasquez said.

Both kids were happy Santa came through and lifted their spirits.

“They've never had anything like this before, and they're very, very grateful,” Velasquez said.

Elisa is hoping her car turns up soon. Not only because of the presents, but because her purse was in the car along with her work permit. She’s not able to work without it, and, with money tight right now, she said she can’t replace it.