‘In your face, robbers!’ Modesto CHP officers replace Salida boy’s stolen Nintendo

Modesto CHP Officers Replace Boys Stolen Video Game

When a burglar stole a Nintendo DS from a Salida boy with Autism, Modesto CHP officers took up a collection to buy him a new one (Erin Tracy/
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When a burglar stole a Nintendo DS from a Salida boy with Autism, Modesto CHP officers took up a collection to buy him a new one (Erin Tracy/

The only thing Yoselyn Johnson could do to console her 11-year-old son Andrew Guadron over the theft of his Nintendo 3DS XL was drive him around their hometown of Salida to look for it.

“He is autistic and that was his comfort toy,” said Johnson. “That would be the only thing that would bring his mood up when he was having a bad day.”

The family’s car was burglarized New Year’s Day. Taken was Andrew’s backpack containing the Nintendo, charger and multiple video games that he’d earned as rewards for things such as perfect attendance at school or acing a spelling test. He’d been collecting them since he was 6 years old.

In May, Andrew still was asking his parents every day about his Nintendo and checking their front porch in hopes the thief had returned it. So Johnson took him to the California Highway Patrol office on Kiernan Avenue to tell a police officer about the theft.

When Officer Tom Olson listened to Andrew’s story, he said it was evident how much the Nintendo meant to the boy.

After Andrew left, Olson sent an email to all his colleagues seeking donations to buy him a new system.

“I just wanted to do something special for the kid and I thought there would be a lot of people in our office who wanted to do the same,” Olson said.

He was right.

Olson doesn’t know how many people donated – he would come to work and find cash on his desk – but he collected $320, enough to replace the Nintendo, chargers and a few of the games. He then reached out to Walmart, which donated a $300 shopping spree so Andrew could buy more games.

Under the guise of checking in with Olson about the case, Johnson took Andrew back to the CHP office Tuesday.

In front of a briefing room full of officers, Andrew listened to Lt. JD Frost explain that “because we weren’t able to find the bad guys, we went ahead and bought some items to replace what was taken.”

“Thank you, sir,” said Andrew after he’d ripped through the Lego wrapping paper and neatly stacked his gifts.

The excitement really set in when Frost told Andrew he’d also get to spend an additional $300 at Walmart.

“Oh my God!,” said Andrew, turning to his mother. “Mommy, can we go today?”

When he was reassured shopping would be the next order of business, he then shouted a message to the thieves. “In your face, robbers!”

Andrew personally thanked every officer in the room, giving each a high-five or a handshake.

Johnson said that on Sunday, while driving back from a weekend in Southern California, Andrew saw a shooting star.

“I just wished (on a) shooting star for this,” he said.