Tony Bovinich is a veteran officer with the Midlothian Police Department and has seen his share of sob stories.

But when Jessie Kendrick's bicycle got stolen, something touched his heart and made him determined to make sure this girl got her bike back.

Kendrick, 10, had her orange, NEXT bicycle stolen from her yard recently and it was Bovinich who showed up to take the report.

"You learn that every call is important and you try to respond to each the same way," said Bovinich. "She told me she scrimped and saved and made good grades to buy that bike."

Then Kendrick cried.

"I won't admit to crying, but I will say it broke my heart," said Bovinich.

But two weeks of looking for the bike turned up nothing.

That's when Bovinich approached the Midlothian Police Community Service League about buying Kendrick a bike to replace the one that was stolen.

"When we went down to Wal-Mart to buy her a bike and the people there found out about it and told us to bring her down and just let her pick a new one out," said Bovinich. "They ended up buying the bike and we bought her a helmet, pads and a lock."

Mike Carney, Midlothian Wal-Mart co-manager, said he read the letter submitted by the Service League and immediately realized this was something Wal-Mart could do.

"We are pleased that they contacted us," said Carney. "We are part of this community and want to help out when we can."

So on last Wednesday, Kendrick's mom carried her to Wal-Mart.

"She had no idea what this was about and just thought this was a trip to shop," said B.J. McClelland, Kendrick's mom. "It meant so much to see her eyes light up when they told her to pick out a bike."

Kendrick went straight to the bike rack and picked out a bike just like the one that was stolen. The only difference was this one was green.

Kendrick said she plans to ride her bike to Kimmel Park and will make sure this one isn't stolen.

Bovinich said lots of new bikes will be given to boys and girls this holiday season and he offered a simple list of tips to make sure the Grinch doesn't steal someone else's Christmas.

Write down the serial number and put it in a safe place. Store the bike out of sight. Bikes are stolen quickly by simply riding off on them. Watch your bike when you are not riding it. A simple lock will discourage most thieves. If your bike is stolen, report it to police immediately.

"We are also still looking for the person or persons who took Jessie's bike," said Bovinich. "If you have any information about this theft of any other crime in Midlothian, please give us a call."

The Midlothian Police Department can be reached by calling 972-775-7181.