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Pizza shop worker’s smoke break saves little boy’s life

Smoking might be bad for your health, but in this case, it helped save the life of a child in need.

A Texas pizza employee is receiving national recognition for quick thinking that helped save a little boy’s life. Courtney Best started her shift at Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza just like any other day. Not thinking or expecting anything out of the ordinary to happen, Best made a slight change to her routine that allowed police to nab a kidnapper who had abducted a 7-year-old boy. While on her smoke break, Courtney decided to stand in front of the store instead of at the back, which put her in clear view of a car tied to an Amber Alert. | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

“I stepped outside, I was standing by the trash can, and I seen a white car pull up, and I just happen to take my phone with me ’cause we don’t look at our phones at work. And I looked down, and I saw ‘white Dodge Avenger Amber Alert,’ and I was like, nah, that’s not him,” Best tells KRIS TV.

Unsure if the car was in fact the one associated with the crime, Courtney jumped into her vehicle and drove by to check the license plate. Once she realized it was in fact a match, she immediately dialed 911. By this time, the suspect and kidnapped boy had left the store they were in and were leaving the shopping center. “And I’m on the phone with 911, and I tell her, ‘Look, the plates match up, he’s turning left on Staples, but I’m gonna follow him,'” adds Courtney. Local police were able to arrest Channing Galbraith and safely return Nicholas Gomez to his family.

“What are the odds of me looking at my phone?” questions Courtney in disbelief. “And I usually don’t even look at Amber Alerts, as bad as that sounds. I look at them, and I don’t really pay attention.”

This story is a lesson to us all on the importance of staying alert at all times and trusting your gut. Thank goodness Courtney was in front of her workplace this particular day. Her actions — including the decision to look at an Amber Alert on her phone — helped ensure 7-year-old Nicholas would see another day. The U.S. Department of Justice reveals that 17 children have been rescued thanks to wireless emergency alerts. Close to 770 successful recoveries have been recorded since the Amber plan began in 1996.

In the event you witness a child abduction or locate the suspect, child or vehicle, contact the number given in the Amber Alert immediately (you can also dial 911). For the sake of safety, it’s never recommended to take additional action.

You can sign up to receive Amber Alerts at

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