Tempe police deliver Christmas miracle

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

TEMPE -- It was a last-minute Christmas miracle for a family in Tempe.

A few weeks ago, the Harkers' Christmas gifts were stolen. Thanks to Tempe police and a local charity, a magical Christmas was delivered.

Sirens echoed off a fleet of cruisers down East Gemini Drive on Christmas day. Tempe police officers were on a mission to surprise a house full of children.

The surprise and wonder were written all over the kids' faces as officers carefully scooped up wrapped presents from their cars and delivered them with smiles.

The gifts came three weeks after Albert Harker walked 3TV through his ransacked home on the same day a Christmas Grinch stole electronics, cash and even wrapped presents under the tree.

"When someone violates your home, you just feel so violated. It's just hard to get over," he said.

Harker, a father of six, was overwhelmed by the gesture from Tempe police. Officer Gabe Rojel, the responding officer the night of the burglary, helped spearhead the campaign to adopt the Harkers through the W. Steven Martin toy drive.

"It's amazing. It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing just to see the smiles on their faces and see all the excitement on their faces when we came up and gave them their gifts," Rojel said.

The burglars may have stolen the children's gifts, but thanks to Tempe police, certainly not their Christmas spirit.

Harker says he now plans to get involved with several charities to help families on Christmas next year.

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