Everyday Heroes

Police Pitch In to Help Landscaper Who Lost Everything

After thieves stole the man's truck, officers who said he reminded them of their dads stepped in to help

Adrian Salgado is the sole support for his family. So when thieves jumped into his pickup truck and drove off with all of his landscaping equipment, he started chasing them on foot. But he was no match for their speed, and lost it everything, along with the $1000 in rent money he had stored in the truck.

Salgado's daughter Elizabeth called 911, setting off a chain of events that has a group of police officers being praised as heroes. CNN reports, Santa Ana (CA) police were able to track down the truck using Elizabeth's phone app. When they arrested the two men who had the truck, each had $500 in cash in their pockets and claimed the money was theirs. While police could take the money as evidence they couldn't give it back to Salgado. What's worse, all the landscaping equipment, estimated at about $3000, was gone.

Santa Ana Police Department Facebook page

The officers took pity on his plight. "We all came from working-class families," said Sgt. Michael Gonzalez told CNN. He said when they looked at Salgado, it was like they were seeing their own fathers. "It was like, 'hey, that's my dad,'" he said. Another officer, Lysette Murillo, came up with the idea of the officers pooling their money to help replace the tools.

The officers came up with $500 of their own money. The Santa Ana Police Officers Association chipped in another $500. When the officers went shopping at Home Depot, they kicked in another $100 plus military discounts because some of the officers are reservists. A shopper who asked what they were doing gave another $40.

"Now I can see my dad with a smile because he can go back to work." Elizabeth Salgado

In a video posted to the Santa Ana Police Officers Association's Facebook page, Elizabeth thanked the Santa Ana police.

Officer Gonzalez told CNN he most amazed by what happened next. Salgado took the items home, opened them, and went back to work because he had clients to serve! Folks in the community reacted with respect for Salagdo -- and praise for their cops!

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