GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — We all do it when we’re putting groceries in the car. We turn our heads with our belongings in the cart.
For one Randolph County family, it turned into a theft from right under their noses.
But it’s what an officer did afterward that gave them a renewed sense of hope.
“It was a split second,” Stephanie Harting said.
Little did Harting know, that split second would have a lasting impact on her and her family.
Back in July, she and her 11-year-old son Daniel and 8-year-old daughter Murphy-Grace, were in the Sam’s Club parking lot transferring their few groceries from their shopping cart to their car.
“I laid my wristlet down and when I laid it down, I went and got the water and I think that’s when it happened,” Harting said.
By the time she turned around, her wristlet with all her money, driver’s license and sense of security were gone.
“I felt very vulnerable and I was very shaken and I was honestly scared that nobody was going to care,” Harting said.
But the person who did care…
“Officer Strickland. He was amazing,” Harting said.
Harting’s kids helped her trace their steps and became panicked like their mom when they couldn’t find the wallet.
“I thought we were going to lose our home because we didn’t have any money to do anything,” Daniel said.
“I was scared we were going to run out of food even though we had a lot of food,” Murphy-Grace said.
And their gas tank didn’t have enough fuel to get them back home to Randleman.
The only thing that calmed them down was their interaction with Greensboro Police Officer J.D. Strickland.
“He talked to the kids, he assured them that it was OK. This was going to be resolved, we were going to get home and he was going to keep us on track every step of the way, which he has,” Harting said.
Fast forward a couple of weeks later, that same officer found a way to make their day by sending them something in the mail, again going beyond the call of duty.
“We both got a shirt and some bubbles,” Murphy-Grace said.
A few simple gestures showing these siblings, there’s more to the badge than catching bad guys.
“I want to say thank you so much. I want to be a police officer one day because of him. And he just made us all feel better,” Daniel said.
Less than 30 minutes after Harting’s wristlet was stolen, the suspect racked up $800 in charges at nearby gas stations.
Police do believe they know who the suspect is and say he’s responsible for several similar crimes. They plan on making an arrest soon.
The Harting family told FOX8 that Strickland has invited them to come tour the station in the near future. It’s something they are all looking forward to.