LA PLATA, Md. - An officer with the La Plata Police Department went beyond the call of duty when he found a little girl’s toy dragon that was stolen from her front porch.
Monday morning appeared to be starting as an ordinary day for Sgt. Robert Bagley, but that was until he received a notification on his Facebook page after someone tagged him in a comment.
The comment was under a post from Jason Hendricks, who took to social media to help catch the thief who stole his daughter’s toys right from their front yard.
Hendricks said Evie was playing with her toys in the yard Sunday evening, but as she turned in for the night, a crook lurking in the darkness was caught on surveillance camera entering her yard and making off with her prize possessions: a plastic dinosaur and a plastic dragon.
“I am very surprised to find someone coming into our yard and toting away toys,” Hendricks wrote. “I sure hope that this person thought the toys needed a little adventure and will be returning them soon and I hope these dinos and dragons find their way back to their rightful owner.”
A friend of Hendricks enlisted the help of Bagley who was quick to answer the call.
“I'm on it,” Bagley exclaimed.
Bagley’s veteran investigation experience was no match for the suspect as he quickly located and recovered one of the kidnapping victims: a black and blue plastic dragon.
“Is this one of them? If so I just recovered it. Looking for the rest of them now. I think I know where the suspect lives,” Bagley wrote.
But before Bagley could pursue the case more he noticed the dragon was in need of medical attention and rushed him to the hospital where he enlisted the help of some friends.
“Please tell your daughter that this fella was safe with me all night. I found him alone with a broken arm, so I took him to my emergency room friends at Charles Regional Medical Center. They were kind enough to fix his boo boo,” Bagley detailed.
After making a full recovery, Bagley and the dragon hit the streets of La Plata in search for the culprit and the dragon’s friend nicknamed "Big Green Dino."
The duo canvassed the area neighborhood-by-neighborhood but kept coming up empty handed (or empty clawed in the dragon's case).
As their search effort intensified, Bagley and the dragon enlisted the help of firefighters and fellow reptiles.
While working the beat together, Bagley spotted real potential in the dragon’s crime fighting abilities.
“After a while, I realized what a great ride along partner he would make, so I deputized him as a Junior La Plata Police Officer,” Bagley explained.
The crime-fighting partners kept the streets of La Plata safe by running speed enforcement, writing tickets and even dispatching some calls from the 911 center.
After a night of patrolling La Plata, Bagley decided to treat the dragon for his hard work. He tried to take him to eat at Petco and Chick-fil-A, but they were both closed.
Bagley decided to give the dragon “every cop's favorite food”: tasty donuts.
With the streets safe and their bellies full, Bagley and the dragon parted ways with a new found respect for one another.
“Please tell your daughter that he was a great partner tonight,” Bagley wrote. “He kept me safe while patrolling the Town of La Plata. We will continue to look for his other missing friend. Sincerely, Sgt. Bobby Bagley.”
The response to Bagley’s generous gesture has been overwhelming.
“Thank you, Sergeant Bobby Bagley. Anyone close to our family knows that Evie finds a lot of peace with her dragons and dinosaurs in the mud and gardens. Although I know she will be excited to get the dinosaur and dragon band back together I also know she can’t stand to see others in pain and would give all her toys away to someone less fortunate in a second. We appreciate your creativity and compassion. We are very lucky to live in such a wonderful caring community,” Hendricks wrote.
Evie's mother later posted a photo of her daughter happily reunited with the plastic toy dragon.