Police officer plays Santa with kindness to theft victim

'He's a good cop -- because he cares.'

INDIANAPOLIS - Metro police officers see the worst of the worst on a daily basis. But one police officer who saw something bad did something about it, and his gift reflects the best in our police department.

The Santa's helper wore blue, a badge and a gun. And for a single mom and her two young kids, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officer Scott Nickels would rekindle the magic and spirit of Christmas.

Two weeks ago, a grinch stole $800 from Crystal Lockwood's purse.

"It was my Christmas money -- everything -- diapers, wipes, food," Lockwood said. "So my manager said, 'Call the cops,' so I did."

Lockwood is a temporary worker who told police she checked on her purse (which she had to keep in an unlocked locker) twice on the day in question, but the third time she checked, it was gone.

Officer Nickels took down the police report for Lockwood. Knowing he had no chance of catching the thief, he did the next best thing: He decided to help the victim.

"If you can't solve the crimes, then you find alternatives to help that person and just make their day and their life a little better," Nickels said.

Nickels teamed up with the Fraternal Order of Police to buy presents for Lockwood and her two children. The toys, clothing, diapers and other items they needed went under the tree.

"It's the best thing ever, because I didn't even have diapers right now, so that makes me want to cry," Lockwood said of Nickels. "He helped and cared. It's the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. He's a really good person."

For Nickels, it's all in a day's work for the city's police force.

"Something like this goes on every single day. And you know, 99 times out of 100, (officers) do this without anyone ever knowing about it," Nickels said. "But it happens every day."

But Lockwood knows she got much more than she ever expected: the kindness of a relative stranger.

"He's really, really a good person," Lockwood said. "He's a good cop -- because he cares."

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