Ozark Police Department went above and beyond recently. A woman bought a toy Elmo Doll for her daughter's birthday only to find out between the store and the car that the doll had vanished.
She had the receipt showing she'd paid for the doll, but it wasn't until the store checked its surveillance video that she knew it had been taken. Perhaps what shocked her most of all was how quickly the Ozark Police Department was able to return it.
"She was totally excited when she got it on Saturday," April said about her daughter Jocalynn's reaction to her birthday present.
Jocalynn almost didn't get that Elmo doll for her birthday; a day her mother says April won't soon forget.
"I went in, grabbed that, grabbed some other stuff and came out, and -- no Elmo doll! It was not in my car. I went back inside because I've left things inside before. All they said was they'd have to look over the surveillance camera."
The surveillance video from inside the store shows the doll falling out from underneath April's cart as she left the store. Unfortunately, it also shows someone coming behind her, picking up the doll, and taking it.
"So they're like, 'You got to fill out a police report,' and I'm thinking, 'Really? Over a toy, I got to file a police report?' Oh, my gosh," said April.
Ozark police told April they'd do a followup, but first they told the chief.
"When the situation happened and he came into the police department, I stepped aside and told him what had happened and he's like, 'I'm going to Walmart,'" said Sue Ellen Larimer of the Ozark Police Department.
"The chief comes in with a bag and an Elmo doll in it. I'm thinking, 'Wow! I've only been here for half an hour. You guys are awesome!'" said April.
"It was taken care of," said Larimer.
Not the way April thought it had been, however. This wasn't her Elmo doll.
"He got everyone at the Police Department to chip in and get my daughter a new Elmo doll for her birthday," said April.
"The little girl is the one you want to make sure she has a happy birthday," said Larimer.
"I started crying, overwhelmed. It's awesome to know there's caring people out there, that kids do come first," said April.
The Ozark Police Department was able to get a license plate from the surveillance video.
They went to the person's house and explained what the situation was with Jocalynn's birthday and the person returned the doll.
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