Police are accustomed to responding to robberies. Sadly, in most cases, they don’t recover the stolen item. Filling out a police report is more about due diligence than it is stopping the thief. But this time it was different.
For Cleveland police officer James Grotenrath, it was personal in a way. Last year, a 9-year-old boy named Bryce had his Pokemon cards stolen while he was walking home. Pokemon is a popular set of trading cards that Bryce had been collecting for a few years. They were his most cherished possession.
The binder where Bryce keeps his cards was snatched out of his hand as he was walking to a friend’s house.
Bryce gave chase, but the boy who stole his cards ran away too quickly.
“Some kid stole them right out of my hand and he ran,” Bryce told FOX News in Cleveland. When he got home and told his mom what happened, she called the police.
The police enlisted the help of some of the neighborhood kids to track down the person who stole Bryce’s cards. They found him in a nearby town with Bryce’s binder and returned the cards to their rightful owner.
Police were able to find Bryce’s cards in a nearby town, but when he got them back, he noticed several cards were missing.
Bryce was upset because the best cards in his collection were gone. The police would have been well within their rights to cut their losses and be happy that they recovered the cards at all. But officer Grotenrath wasn’t pleased with the outcome. He hated seeing how heartbroken Bryce was that he lost some of his cards.
“I grew up with Pokemon. I loved Pokemon as a kid. And I’d be heartbroken too if my cards were taken from me,” said officer Grotenrath.
He had an idea of how he might be able to make things better for Bryce, but it was going to mean a huge sacrifice on his part.
Once his shift was over, Grotenrath dug around in his closet, found his old Pokemon collection, and gave his cards to Bryce.
The cards in Bryce’s collection might have been dear to him, but the cards in Grotenrath’s collection were far more valuable. Among the cards Grotenrath gave him was one that was extremely rare—according to Bryce only 10 exist in the world.
“It’s a priceless item, but it’s better to see someone else smile,” officer Grotenrath said.
What started out as one of the worst days in Bryce’s life, became one of the best. His Pokemon card collection more than doubled thanks to the generosity of Cleveland police officer James Grotenrath.
“It’s just happy to see a citizen smile instead of always frowning upon us and looking the other way,” said Grotenrath.
When asked what he thought of the police, it’s no surprise that Bryce gave a glowing review: “I think they’re really nice and they help out the world,” he said.