SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – A group of more than six township police officers rallied to aid a single mom with an autistic child on Christmas Eve after thieves broke into the Dayton home last week and stole holiday presents.

Capt. Jim Ryan said the young mother had purchased a number of gifts for the family, including a laptop computer for her autistic son and had them stored in her home last week when thieves opened a window and entered the residence while the family was out.

The would-be Grinchs’ took the four presents the mother had bought, returning the computer to the local Target store on Route 1 to get money to buy drugs, Ryan said.

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Detectives and other officers investigating the case were told by the mother that she did not have the resources to re-purchase the gifts.

As they worked the case, the officers were upset that the children in the family would not have presents for tomorrow’s holiday, so they rallied with other officers and the Policemen’s Benevolent Association #166 to buy another laptop for the autistic boy, and more than a dozen other gifts, tripling what the mother had planned, Ryan said.

The officers then delivered the gifts to the family earlier today on Christmas Eve, bringing tears to the eyes of the mother, Ryan said.

“These are the kind of officers that make up the outstanding department we have,” Chief of Police Raymond Hayducka said. “They wanted to make sure this little boy had a Christmas this year and pulled together to make it possible. I am proud of each of them.”

Capt. Ryan said the investigation is moving forward and police believe two people were involved in the burglary.

He said they have charged one person and are looking for the second individual involved.

More detailed information on the arrest will be released at a later time, he said.