FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas – Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls is on the prowl inside a Richmond Walmart. What's he looking for? Potential shoplifters? Thieving employees? A kidnapped child?
"What we're going to do is see if we can find a family that could use a little bit of holiday cheer in their lives," Nehls said.
For the second year in a row, a generous Secret Santa has donated thousands of dollars in gift cards for the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office to give away.
"I wanted people that truly needed help to get these cards, and I wanted to give law enforcement an opportunity to distribute them so that people could see that they were really good guys," the Secret Santa said.
The sheriff found Gloria Martinez, a mother of five, grandmother of 14 and great grandmother of 16.
"I would like to give you a gift card for $100 for Walmart, and if you would use this gift card to help purchase things. I see Christmas presents and stuff for your family, that would be meaningful," Nehls said.
Martinez wasn't the only family to benefit from this year's gift card giving. In total, 100 families across Fort Bend County were surprised by sheriff's deputies with $100 gift cards. For Martinez, it means a brighter Christmas, and for the county, the start of a new tradition.
"Well, I was really just looking, looking for bargains and things, but now that I have this, well, I can buy a little bit more," Martinez said.
"I started this last year. I told the sheriff that we were going to try to double it this year -- we did -- and we're going to try to do it again next year and the years to come," the Secret Santa said.
Deputies targeted the Kendleton-Beasley area, the general Richmond-Rosenberg area, the Mission Bend/Four Corners area, the Arcola/Fresno area and others.