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Police pull over Utah drivers, offer gifts instead of tickets

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Attorney General's Office and Unified Police teamed up Friday to pull off the ultimate holiday prank, and it involved pulling over more than a dozen Utahns.

Police lights are not what you want to see in your rearview mirror, especially right around the holidays. And when an officer says, "would you mind stepping out of the car?" It's a surefire way to get your heart racing.

That's what officers did to Rachel McNeill, Melissa Nestoryak, and Ken Corona on Friday afternoon. And, while they were all pulled over for real traffic violations, none of them received a ticket.

These unsuspecting Utahns walked away with a hundred dollars in cash, gift certificates, and other prizes. Each response was more grateful than the next.

"You go from thinking, 'Oh no. How much is this going to cost?' to, 'Oh, sweet! A really good day,'" McNeill said.

"My husband teaches, and we just adopted our 5th daughter in two and a half years, so it gets a little expensive," Nestoryak said.

"Oh, you guys made my life," Corona said.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes came up with the idea after seeing other agencies do similar pranks on YouTube.

"We’ve got law enforcement men and women who really care beyond just being great professionals, they’re human beings and they want to lift people," Reyes said.

What better time to do it than the season of giving?

"These people are good people. Everyone’s working for everybody," Corona said.

The cash was donated by a local law enforcement organization. The gift certificates were donated by Papa Murphy's and Famous Dave's.