Of course, Santa had some special helpers at the San Diego Down Syndrome Society, which replaced the chair just in time for Christmas.
Jocelyn Flores was born with Down syndrome and can't walk on her own, so her family was grateful "beyond words" for the new chair, her adult sister Alex Flores told ABC Los Angeles affiliate KABC-TV. The chair cost $2,500 and the family had been scrambling to find a replacement when neighbors and strangers pitched in to help.
"It's overwhelming to be honest," Alex told KABC, smiling.
The stolen pink wheelchair was only meant for a 1- or 2-year-old, so Jocelyn had already outgrown it, Lt. Mark Johnson of the Corona Police Department told ABC News. Since she needed it to go to preschool, she wasn't able to attend in the days after the theft, he said.
The new wheelchair donated by the San Diego Down Syndrome Society is purple and will grow with Jocelyn until she's about 12, he said.
The stolen wheelchair was found the same day Jocelyn received the new one, but police didn't know who stole it.
Still, police were floored by the public's willingness to help the little girl.
"We were just amazed, and it just reminds us of what a great community we live in and we serve," Corona Police officer Jesse Cervantes, said told a crowd as Jocelyn was presented with her new chair.