MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Some drivers in Coral Gables were pleasantly surprised Friday morning then they were pulled over by police and handed a gift card instead of a ticket.

The sinking feeling you get when a police officer pulls you over was replaced by a sudden feeling of surprise and joy.

It was a different kind of pre-Christmas surprise for sure as Santa appeared with a gift card for $100.

Some drivers were stunned, others even had excuses ready thinking they were about to get a ticket.

“This car is about to break down, so we are trying to make it home that’s why my flashers are on,” said Cynthia Jordan, one of several unsuspecting drivers.

Jordan exclaimed, “Thank you, thank you! I was so scared,” as she laughed and drove away with her gift card in hand.

One woman was even brought to near tears by the gesture.

“Thank you, thank you so much,” she said clutching her chest.

This is the 5th year the Coral Gables Police Department has handed out the gift cards. It was made possible with the help of an anonymous donor’s $25,000 gift to the department.

The department will give away 250 American Express gift cards each worth $100 from now until Christmas and they won’t all be at traffic stops.

Police Chief Ed Hudak says the cards are also worth a lot to his officers.

“I’ve underestimated exactly how great it feels for the officers to actually do something spontaneously nice for people who are at times apprehensive of us and that’s just a blessing,” he said.

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