Orem Police give birthday bear surprise to little girl after build-a-bear disappointment

OREM, Utah -- For the second time in two weeks, a 7 year-old girl from Orem gets a surprise gift from police.

“What a cool way to reach out to a community,” said the girl’s father, John Crockett. “You think of police in one aspect some times, and really seeing a different side of them now.”

It all started last week during the ‘Pay Your Age’ promotion with Build-A-Bear. The company didn’t anticipate tens-of-thousand of people turning out for the promotion nation-wide. As a result, people were lined up for hours, and most never ended up with anything because the product ran out.

“It was a really big line, and we waited for two hours,” recalls a disappointed Ellie Crockett.

“That night, we were having dinner in North Orem, and we saw a police car drive by,” Ellie’s dad recalls.

“I waved at him,” Ellie said. “He was driving around the parking lot.”

It was just a simple wave to a cop out side a pizza shop, but it made a big difference.

“She also had a big smile on her face,” said Officer Tom Cook with Orem Police. “So, I thought I need to stop and tell her thanks.”

Thanks to a Orem PD community project, officers are equipped with stuffed animal bears in their trunks. He pulled one out and gave it to Ellie.  Then, Ellie told him about her day, and about getting shut out at Build-A-Bear. Officer Cook decided to go one step further, offering to take her in the following week to buy a bear.

“It was totally unexpected and we’re completely grateful,” her dad added.

Orem Police picked up the tab for not only Ellie, but her brother and sisters too. They say a community fundraising fund helps donate money to be used for things in the community. Anyone who would like to help contribute to funds can reach out to Orem PD directly.