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A Broken Window, A Christmas Miracle

Omaha's police shine after a car is broken into
A Broken Window, A Christmas Miracle, photo by Andrew Lawlor
Published on December 20, 2010 : 1 comment

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I went west to Lincoln on the 10th to attend Behold the Lamb as part of a blooming Christmas tradition that some friends and I share to kick off the holiday season. The concert was wonderful; the group of us who went were singing songs and conversing deeply on the drive back to Omaha. When we arrived at the house where we had all carpooled, we were met by a surprise.

Two young boys were standing next to one of my friend’s car. As we pulled up they started walking away. Several of us noticed it, and someone made a comment, “It’s too late for kids to be walking around.” It was thirty minutes into the 11th of December. I noticed that the kids kept looking back toward us. They did not start to run, so I did not think much of it, until I caught a strange glimpse in the corner of my eye.

Hey. They broke your window.” I told my friend, pointing to the front, passenger door and acting oddly casual for the circumstances. I picked up my phone and dialing 911 asked, “Do you want me to call the cops?” She nodded and looked up the road toward the kids, who were still walking, still not making any effort hurry away.

The woman whose 2004 Mazda 3, was broken into, had a rush of vigilante justice surge through her veins and decided to follow the boys in our friend’s car—despite strong urging not to. We debated whether the boys were the culprits on the basis of their casual escape attempt.

I was on the phone for just a few minutes with the police before cruisers started whizzing up and down the neighborhood streets. In less than fifteen minutes, the two boys had been picked up by an officer, confessed to the thievery, and police were taking our statements.

Our vigilante friend turned back at the first sight of police officers and was barely back before they arrived at the house where we were waiting. So, it was a bittersweet Christmas ending. The kids were really kids: they were twelve and thirteen years old, not old enough to pay restitution for a bologna sandwich.

My friend’s car window was still shattered in a heap on the ground. There would be no point in making an insurance claim on an expense that small, but the season of gifts is a bad time to have to fork out a couple hundred for a personal expense. The police sure did not wait around though.

Omaha Police DepartmentPossibly because we were on 33rd and Lincoln, or maybe because two people called in the theft (the car owner dialed for help while she followed the boys, giving detailed descriptions of both as she pursued), but probably because Omaha has a standup Police force, they were on the spot. I was a victim of a similar crime about this time last year, and the police officers were great then, too.

The real moral of this Christmas theft: be sure to thank your Omaha P.D. The men and women on the force care about Omahans. It might not seem like it if you are being ticketed for speeding, but if you have an emergency and reach out to them for assistance—they do not waver. And they are thorough.

I am certain it is safe to say that being a police officer is tough work, and I cannot comprehend how the men and women on the force can display such patience. I know we were all stammering and reactionary, stumbling over our own information, where we lived and how old we were, but they did not laugh. They just ensured us everything was okay.

So, what happened to my friend’s car window? That is the Christmas miracle. The very next day, she flipped open her phone book, called the first auto glass company in the alphabetical listing and asked about an appointment. They had a cancellation and could fit her in at eleven. She asked if they would be able to get her make and model’s window in that quick, and would you know it, the person who canceled just happened to have had an appointment to put in a passenger window for a 2004 Mazda 3.

Do you have some kind words for the Omaha P.D. or a Christmas miracle of your own? Share them below!

jodynotjI'm working on developing a portfolio of old-fashioned, words on paper, short stories. I also enjoy writing about topics that make my heart burn happily. Check out for my monthly thoughts on gardening.


Michael (not verified) says:

December 23, 2010 : 13 years 21 weeks ago

Michael's picture

Thanks for sharing your story. It’s not too often you hear people share positive encounters with local law enforcement or give thanks to the men and women who sacrifice so much for our city.

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