When North Carolina police officer Mitch Talley responded to a report of a stolen bicycle - he met 10-year-old Payton Horton who was desperate to get her bike back.

"She kept asking, 'Are you gonna find it? Are you gonna find it?' and so it was hard to see because I know a lot of times we don’t end up finding the bikes," explained Talley.

The bike was a Christmas gift from a group that helps kids going through difficult times.

Riding it helped Payton keep her mind off her dad's recent cancer diagnosis and the sadness and fear it brought her family.

"As I was talking to them, the mom kept saying, 'Honey, God’s going to take care of it; God’s going to take care of it,' and being religious that kind of touched me," recalled Talley.

He knew he had to help, so he called his wife and then his sergeant and told them he wanted to buy Payton a bike.

"He explained the situation to me and it was really a no brainer," said Sgt. Peter Manukas. "I mean if he wants to go get a bike for the young lady I’ve got no problem with it. I told him let me know how much it is."

Other officers chipped in, too, and a few hours later, Talley brought Payton a brand new bike, just like the one that disappeared.

The family couldn't be more grateful - especially after such a difficult several months.

The officers say seeing Payton's joy reminds them why they do this job.

"We are police officers. We try to help out. It's not always drugs and criminals, we're here for everything so anytime we get to help a family that's what most of us want to do," said Talley.