Cops pitch in to help family after Tennessee Grinch steals kids’ Christmas presents, torches tree

Police in a Tennessee city showed the true holiday spirit as well as outstanding service to their community when they pitched in to replace a child’s gifts after a human Grinch stole them and then set the family’s Christmas tree ablaze.

Earlier this week, the Dyersburg Police Department said on Facebook that they had arrested a man after they responded to a call at a local apartment complex where the suspect was observed purloining the presents by an observant neighbor, also torching the tree in an act that reportedly stemmed from an “altercation” between the perp and the victim that took place prior to the incident.

On Sunday, December 18 at around 12:30 am, the police arrived at Greentree Apartments after receiving a call about a disturbance where they encountered the man, identified as 25-year-old James Walker, who was apprehended by officers during a short pursuit after fleeing by foot.

“Officers learned from a neighbor that Walker was observed going in and out of an apartment carrying items and placing them into his car. It was discovered that Walker had allegedly removed some items from the residence, wrapped the Christmas tree in a child’s blanket, and set the tree on fire along with the presents,” the Facebook post read. “Officers also observed that a window had been opened to vent the fire, and the apartment’s smoke detector had been covered.”

“The resident was not at home at the time of the incident, however did return home after being informed of the fire. The victim reports that Walker was an acquaintance, and earlier in the day the victim, her brother, and Walker were in involved in an altercation. Walker is charged with aggravated burglary, public intoxication, resisting arrest, aggravated arson, simple possession, fail to appear out of Dyersburg City Court, and is being held for Pemiscot County, Missouri for active warrants,” according to the DPD.

The Dyersburg Police Department’s Community Changer then replaced the gifts as well as added some more which were shown in a picture accompanying the Facebook post about Walker’s despicable deed.

(Image: Screengrab/Facebook)

“Community Changer is a community outreach initiative that was developed by the DPD to enhance police and community relationships by improving quality of life, and public safety through civility, mentoring, and community policing. DPD’s Community Changer is supported and funded by our community through donations and fundraisers,” according to the DPD.

In another Facebook post from last week, Police Chief Steve Isbell expressed his gratitude for the work of Community Changer.

(Image: Screengrab/Facebook)

“I would like to thank our community partners who contributed funds to support the Dyersburg Police Department’s Community Changer Shop with a Cop. We could not have provided Christmas to over 100 children without their support. Each child was paired with an officer, and had the opportunity to spend $100.00 on their Christmas,” Isbell explained.

“Thank you to Wal-Mart for partnering with us to provide personnel, and a dedicated checkout line to make this a successful night. A very special thank you to the men and women of the Dyersburg Police Department, and their families. They have demanding jobs and contribute so much to our community. Watching the officers shop with the children is heartwarming. I could not be more proud of them, and our community for making this happen.”

(Images: Facebook/Dyersburg Police Department)

“‘We exist to serve the community, can be seen in our daily work. The men and women of the DPD go far beyond simply providing traditional law enforcement services. The Dyersburg Police Department is staffed with 58 men and women who serve as commissioned officers,” the department’s website reads. “An additional staff of 8 civilians provide support services such as records clerks, division office managers and secretaries. The service area is approximately 16 square miles with a resident population of about 18,500.”


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