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Arizona officer donates supplies after avid gardener had his tools stolen

Mesa officer gardener.png
Posted at 7:40 PM, Jun 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-11 21:40:34-04

MESA, Ariz. (KNXV) -- When a man's hobby was interrupted by a robbery, a responding police officer took matters into his own hands to help him regain his passion, and in return, received a celebration of his own.

John Bazan's hobby is gardening. All patio greenery at Oakwood Creative Care, an Alzheimer's Facility in Mesa, Arizona, is handled by Bazan. About a month ago, somebody broke into the facility and stole Bazan's gardening tools.

"He was just sad; he was sad, it’s hard to understand why someone would do something like that," said Marianne Bazan, John's daughter.

The case stuck with Mesa Police Officer Robert Zilm, who knew he had to help restore Bazan's love for gardening.

"I went home, told my wife and my mom and we came up with a plan," said Officer Zilm. Shortly after, he arrived at Oakwood with a bucket of tools, replacing the ones stolen.

In a show of gratitude, Oakwood threw Zilm and his wife a surprise belated baby shower for Zilm's newborn daughter. Oakwood, along with the Mesa Chamber of Commerce, gave Zilm special gifts and a small party, but mostly a thank you for taking the time to care for Bazan and his green thumb.

"It makes me happy seeing how happy he was. He spends all day out in the heat in the heat doing his gardening and that’s what he finds joy in doing," said Officer Zilm.

This story originally reported by Adam Waltz on ABC15.com.