Redondo Beach police officer serves grandmother with 'act of kindness' after car theft

A police officer goes beyond the call of duty to help a grandmother in need. She had nearly $200 stolen out of her car and received an amazing gift from a Redondo Beach officer. 

Christine Johnson says she and her son had just gained custody of her grandson who she hadn’t seen in two years. She went to Kohl’s in Redondo Beach Saturday to surprise 4-year-old Monroe with much-needed clothes.

“I spent $192, all the money I had right, and I put the bag in the car and I thought, I need dog food and I need milk,” said Johnson. 

So she zipped into Ralph’s at about 4 p.m. and when she came out, realized someone had broken into her car and stolen the clothes. “I looked across the parking lot and I can see the whole side of my passenger door, the glass was just torn out of it. I just started crying.”

Redondo Beach Field Training Police Officer Ryan Harrison responded and collected surveillance pictures that show a woman in a black Mercedes pull up next to her car and a man quickly break her window.

The next day, Officer Harrison showed up at Johnson’s house.

“He was just standing there,” recalls Johnson. “I was like what could he be doing in my yard? What did I do wrong?”

In his hand was a heartfelt, handwritten card and a $200 Kohl’s gift card that the officer had paid for out of his own pocket.

“I just hugged him and I just kept hugging him and I didn’t want to let go because I’m not used to anybody caring,” said Johnson. “This is nothing I would’ve ever dreamed of, never in a million years.”

“You can see how sweet she is and how much she loves her grandbaby and I just really wanted to make sure that moment that she had to give him something nice wasn’t taken away from her,” said Officer Harrison. “My mom was kind of a single mom and she worked super hard to make things happen for us and I can imagine if something like this happened to us where she spent her last $200 on clothes for us and someone took them away, I can only imagine how devastating that would be for her.”

“Little acts of kindness like this are something that cops do every day, everywhere and in every city from the west coast to the east coast and fortunately for me, I had an opportunity to meet a need for somebody and I wanted to take advantage of it,” said Officer Harrison.

Johnson often volunteers to help the homeless and says when she gets her next paycheck, she plans to pay it forward by buying $200 worth of clothes and donating them to the women’s shelter.

Redondo detectives are working to catch the criminal who stole her grandson’s clothes before they break into someone else’s car. If you have any information, please call the police station.