(INSIDE EDITION) - When a 10-year-old’s money that she’d saved for a Disney vacation was stolen by a heartless thief, California police officers banded together to make sure she’d still have the trip of a lifetime.
Andrea Ramirez’s family had been planning for a year to go to Disney and the girl had been saving money for the trip. But just a week before the family was to leave, their home was burglarized and the robber made off with the $200 she had saved, police said.
“She saved her money all year, which is pretty significant for a 10-year-old," Salinas Police Chief Adele Frese told InsideEdition.com.
Andrea had placed her money inside the suitcase she’d packed for the trip, but when the family arrived home in late July, the suitcase was gone.
“Our officers discussed how sad it is what happened to this girl," Frese said.
Officers went searching for the suitcase and eventually found it, but the money was gone.
That’s when Officers Tyler Provost, Julianne Mesiroff and Fabian Aquino began asking their fellow officers and staff for donations to help Andrea.
“They said, 'Let’s try to get the $200 collected from the police department,” Frese said.
But after word got out around the department about what happened, more officers began chipping in. Before they knew it, they’d collected more than $1,000 for Andrea.
Police called the family into the station before their trip under the impression that they were going to identify some of the property stolen from them, but when they arrived, they were met with the huge surprise.
Officers handed Minnie and Mickey Mouse cards to the family that contained the $1,050 the department had collected.
“Her dad was so humble and so grateful; Andrea was absolutely stunned,” Frese said. “This is the type of thing that we go to policing for. To heal harms is kind of healing for us too.”
Frese added that the family had a great time on their Disney trip.