Independence, Mo., police didn't catch the Grinch, so they played Santa instead.

Christmas Day dawned dark and awful for Neona and Dan Calovich when they returned from her parents' home to find a thief had kicked in a door to their house.The home was ransacked. Thieves even took gifts placed under the Christmas tree for the couple's two young sons.

But then officers, dispatchers, jailers and other police employees arrived bearing gifts.

Officer David Gilgour, who had taken the family's burglary report, thought of the couple's sons, ages 3 and 18 months, and of his own 4-year-old boy.

Gilgour radioed police dispatcher Jane Smitka and suggested the department help the family. By the time he returned to the station, teddy bears, toy trucks and cars, turkeys, cash and other gifts were pouring in.

"The stuff came from their individual homes," police Capt. Don Huntsinger said. "In some cases, I suspect, from their own Christmases."