EDMONTON — Members of the Edmonton Police Service are being praised by a single mother of three for saving her children’s holiday after a Christmas Eve break-in at their north Edmonton home.
Mandy Manning and her three children—aged 17, six and three—went out for dinner at around 5 p.m. Thursday evening. Her daughter was the first to arrive home just before 7 p.m. when she noticed the lights inside the house were on and one of the upstairs bedroom windows was shattered.
The 17-year-old went inside and said the place had been ransacked.
“She just noticed all of our stuff rummaged through and the presents missing under the tree and saw the window kicked in,” Manning said Monday afternoon.
All of the kids’ presents, apart from one, were gone. The thieves also took several personal items.
“They took our personal things like our panties and socks and bras and clothes and shoes and boots. Nothing of really monetary value except the presents,” Manning said.
“They took very strange things.”
Manning said police arrived at her home in the Carlisle neighbourhood very quickly. After conducting their investigation, Manning couldn’t believe what the officers did next.
“They just said that they were going to make sure that the kids still had a Christmas,” Manning said.
Not only did the officers at the scene bring gifts for her kids, Manning said additional officers showed up a few hours later to drop off wrapped presents for them to open on Christmas morning.
“They brought bears and all kinds of toys and stuff for the kids,” Manning said. “I couldn’t believe it, that they would do that for us.”
Sgt. Steve Sharpe with the Edmonton Police Service said police reached out to their child at-risk response team and the Zebra Child Protection Centre to make sure the kids had a Christmas to celebrate. They also used some of their own money to buy the gifts.
“It’s truly a wonderful story in the sense of how quickly it came together and how quickly the community and our resources were able to step up,” Sharpe said. “Sometimes we do see a lot of inhumanity toward man, if you will, but certainly these are the types of stories that touch your heart and they’re wonderful stories.”
Manning was amazed to see complete strangers come together during their time of need, turning a horrible situation into a good one.
“It was just nice to know that my kids would still have Christmas. That meant a lot because if it wasn’t for them they wouldn’t have had one,” Manning said, holding back tears.
“Even though for the bad that happened, in the end the good triumphed.”
Edmonton police are still investigating.