Arizona

Dec 4, 2012 1:19 PM by KPNX

Phoenix police officers help family replace stolen holiday lights

PHOENIX (KPNX) - Two Phoenix police officers had seen holiday decorations stolen before.

But the theft at one home near Thomas Road and 53rd Avenue in Phoenix, motivated Officers Jacob Lewis and David Head to go above and beyond the call of duty.

About two weeks before Thanksgiving, Jessica Smith of Phoenix got the news that her 5-year-old daughter, Linzy, was suffering from a rare bone marrow disease. She already had several other genetic disorders, including autism and dwarfism.

The diagnosis meant that Smith and Linzy would need to spend their holidays away from home. She would go to Houston for treatment. The prognosis was sobering - it could be Linzy's last Christmas.

Smith decided to decorate their house early for Christmas. After Smith finished the decorations, Linzy was thrilled to see two lit reindeer, three Christmas trees and a Santa on his sleigh in her front yard.

One day, as the family dealt with the news and preparing for the trip to Houston, Smith walked out her door. She found all the decorations, meant as holiday cheer for a struggling family, gone.

"It was all gone. The only thing that was left was the net on the ground and the lights," Smith said.

The thief took everything on the ground and also tried to grab the lights hanging from the house. The lights were damaged.

Officers Lewis and Head responded to the call about theft.

"A lot of Christmas decorations get stolen," Lewis said. "You never know who you are affecting."

They learned about Linzy‘s medical condition. Both officers are fathers, and they said they thought about how they would feel - how their families would feel.

"We are not just police officers. We are fathers and have children of our own and want to help the community," Lewis said. "I am expecting my fifth child."

They decided they had to do something, anything, to help Linzy and her family out.

"I want to give her a good Christmas," Lewis said.

On Tuesday, the family met up with Lewis at a local Walmart. He bought three rice milks, juice, a flat of green beans, Spaghetti-Os, bread and Christmas lights for the family. He also bought Smith a new coffee maker.

The officers assembled the new star lights that replaced the damaged snowflake lights hanging from the home.

After they finished, they found Linzy screaming, "Santa's coming! Santa's coming."

Linzy and her 2-year-old brother, Skylar, played around the front yard with smiles on their faces as Christmas has arrived at their home. The officers lifted the family's spirits, but they cannot cure Linzy's disease. Linzy will undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatment within the next month. She and her mom will have to live in Houston for at least six months if the treatment continues to go well.

But doctors have warned Smith, her daughter may not make it.

"My greatest wish is that I want to take her to see snow," said Smith, adding she can't make the trip.

The Angels on Patrol, an organization that assists Phoenix police with families and children in need, are helping Smith open a bank account to accept donations.

The Wells Fargo account number is 1064675190.

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