Police officers help Phoenix family after 'Grinch' steals holiday decorations

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- It looked like Christmas would be ruined for one Phoenix family after a "Grinch" struck their home.

Jessica Smith's 5-year-old daughter, Linzy Hoffmann, has to undergo medical treatment during the holiday season so her mother wanted to celebrate Christmas a little early. The family decorated their yard for Linzy to enjoy, but someone stole many of the lights and decorations during the early morning hours of Nov. 21.

"It was heartbreaking," Smith said. "She kept wanting her lights and we couldn't give them to her."

Phoenix police officers who responded to the theft wanted to help out the family.

"In talking with Jessica we learned she has a daughter who suffers from dwarfism and a very rare bone marrow cancer disease and that hit home for me," said Phoenix police Officer Jacob Lewis.

Lewis and his partner, Officer David Head, are both fathers and wanted to try and give the family the best Christmas possible.

The officers called Angels on Patrol, a program that helps families when something unexpected happens.

After a trip to the store, the Christmas magic was up and running again.

"It was a lot of fun going to the Walmart with the officers and with Linzy and her family," said Leah Heathcoat with Angels on Patrol. "She got to pick out some magical things. You know, when you're a child Christmas is magical, it's special and it should always be that way."

Linzy thinks they lights are "beautiful" and is excited that Santa is coming.

It looks like the Grinch can't steal Christmas after all.

"I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart," Smith said. "I love the way her eyes and her smile is when we turn the Christmas lights on. It's more than I could have ever thought possible."

"We're not just police officers, we're also members of the community," Lewis said. "We're fathers, we have children and we don't just come to work to take bad guys to jail. We do this for a reason, we all want to try and help out the community and do as much as we can."

Angels on Patrol also helped the family with rent and utilities.