PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - A family from Colombia was desperate when their passports were stolen but thanks to a Twitter campaign and forgiving police chief, they'll soon be on their way home.
Relief for Ximena Estrada, ready to go back home to Colombia tomorrow after her family's backpack is returned. They left it on a SEPTA bus last week and it was stolen along with a cell phone, jewelry, and all of their passports.
"How can I go home with my children without the passports?"
They didn't have a lot of hope but after receiving the complaint, SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel, well known for his creative policing and social media status, thought this was a perfect time to get creative and help someone out.
He offered an amnesty agreement for the return of the backpack.
The chief has a pretty significant social media following so the offer spread quickly and to the surprise of many, the bag was returned within 24 hours. In exchange the chief was happy to honor the amnesty offer.
Ximena couldn't stop talking about how appreciative they were of the concern that local law enforcement provided when it would've been easy to just chalk this up as an impossible case to solve in the little time the family had before flying home.
Ximena got back her valuables, but things like lipstick, some clothing and smaller items were not returned but after the way people rallied in support of her, she didn't seem to care. She's heading home smiling and grateful.