A San Jose police unit rallied around Sandra Jiminez who was robbed of $27 and threatened by a teenager with a gun. George Kiriyama reports.
Sandra Jimenez was curious why San Jose police officers wanted her to go on lunch break from her job at Pep Boys on Story Road Monday afternoon.
But when she saw T-shirts, toys and other gifts on the trunk of one of the police patrol cars in the parking lot, she started to cry.
These were gifts from the San Jose police and the community.
"It feels amazing," Jimenez said. "It makes me forget about what happened last night and makes me feel good."
The generosity from the community all but wiped out what had happened to her and her two young children on Sunday night. That's when police say a 14-year-old pulled out a gun and pointed it at her as she and her children were walking back to their apartment.
Investigators say the gun was actually a fake, but to Jimenez, it looked real.
"He put the gun to my face and said give me your purse or I'm going to shoot you and I said please don't do this in front of my kids and I just gave him my purse and he ran away," Jimenez said.
Jimenez put her boys behind her to shield them from the young robber.
"I just didn't want him to hurt my kids, that's all that was on my mind. Please, I don't care what you do to me, but don't do nothing to my kids," Jimenez said.
The thief got away with only $27 in the purse, but was caught an hour later at his home. The teenage robber is now in juvenile detention.
"What really got to us is that there were kids involved," said Tony Diep, a San Jose police officer.
Jimenez's situation struck a chord with him and the other officers in his unit.
"Pulled on our hearts and I mean we do this job to help people out. She's a prime example of a victim who needed help and we got together and we made it happen," Diep said.
Jimenez got her purse back minus the money that was inside. But no worries. The Target Department store hearing about her story decided to donate a $100 gift card.
"What's important is that we were fine, that we were safe. Thank God he didn't do nothing to us," Jimenez said.