November 28th, 2010
11:12 PM ET

Stranger saves Christmas for woman whose gifts were stolen

A Black Friday theft has led to an act of kindness from a stranger, giving true meaning to the phrase "holiday spirit."

Kerry Ann Brown and her friends were the first people to enter a West Palm Beach, Florida, Best Buy electronics store on Black Friday, after camping out since Wednesday, CNN affiliate WPBF reported. She put her merchandise in her car, went to a nearby JC Penney, and when she returned, her car had been broken into and $1,000 worth of merchandise was gone.

Brown told WPBF that among the stolen goods were three computers that she was going to send to relatives in Jamaica.

A small business owner man in New York saw the story on and decided to step up.

Alan Howard, who owns Plesser's Appliances in Babylon, New York, said he would replace $1,000 worth of merchanside.

Through WPBF, Howard contacted Brown and told her he wanted to give her a gift certificate.

"I don't have words to comprehend how I'm feeling right now," Brown told Howard in a telephone call Saturday. "I'm awestruck, thank you. I didn't know people were like that in the world."

"There's still some good in the world," Howard said.

Post by:
Filed under: Holidays
soundoff (197 Responses)
  1. Freon

    I smell a rat. The guy owns a business,goes through a local network to pass along a gift certificate.

    Sounds like a great advertising ploy to me. Why not go to her directly? It was known who the victim was.

    Maybe stay anonymous. I don't know. If I'm wrong God bless him.

    November 28, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • rftgyuio

      God bless him any how because he gaved

      November 29, 2010 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Anevay

      Even still, whatever the reason its better than him paying the $1000 to some already rich network to advertise his business, why not do something nice and get some advertisement in the process?

      November 29, 2010 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |

      Regardless of the reason, he has done a very good deed. He may have ulterior motives but that doesn't matter. That woman's Christmas was saved.

      November 29, 2010 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Cathy

      Oh for pete's sake - the guy felt charitable - can't you people just see it for that and leave it alone? And why pull the racism card....geez I just don't understand people anymore.......

      November 29, 2010 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
    • bugaloo

      Freon, that reflects more on you than it does on the good samaritan.

      November 29, 2010 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
    • L. Taylor

      Yeah, I am sure it would have been easier to find a specific "Kerry Brown" and contacting her by googling her and searching social networking sites and calling numbers until he reached her.

      Oh, wait. No. I think just contacting the Agency that ran the story would be easiest.

      November 29, 2010 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
    • 314swfl144

      freon, you are as digsusting as freon itself. Get help.

      November 29, 2010 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
    • HC

      Wow!!!!!! Could people be more stupid than you???
      You know what pal.... He did a great thing... and deserves all the publicity he wants. I have yet to see you doing something like that! What a s**thead you are!

      November 29, 2010 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
    • jason

      awwww yes worked out for everyone in the end. The Theives got away with their free merch, the woman got reimbursed by a good samaritain and the hero gets some good publicity. and if i'd have just bought 3 new computers i would have hid that a little bit better. Gulible people need to realize by now that this time of year theives stake out mall parking lots for just this type of sucker running some things to the car and heading back in to shop some more . and BOOM thats when they strike. You can bet they watched this woman from the time she put the stuff in the car to the time the coast was clear to make off with the goods.

      November 29, 2010 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
    • inpaperclouds

      too bad the thieves still get to keep all the free stuff. jerks.

      November 29, 2010 at 4:57 am | Report abuse |
    • bbbrooke

      If it were me personally, I would be leery of some one contacted me out of the blue saying "hey I have $1000 for you." Having the news affiliates act as the middleman would take some of the skepticism out of it...

      November 29, 2010 at 5:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris Graber

      Of course this guy had no issue giving up $1,000 in order to score lots of free advertising from the public networks. My God, what the F$#K wrong with that. How is that so very different than giving money to united way and claiming a tax benefit? Give me a break. All Altruism, at its heart, is just a nice form of self interest. . why not leverage it for the greatest good.

      November 29, 2010 at 6:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Unsought

      I think its great even if he made a public act of kindness, he possibly did it in the hopes his acts would be contagious. Alot of people dont help others because they dont think "people are like that" I get that all the time. Im very blessed in my job that i have the tools to do many random acts of kindness and you wouldnt believe how many times i hear, the exact phrase I didnt know there were people out there like that anymore. Its really sad we dont experience these things on day to day basis. We should always be giving and not just during the holidays. I'm not a fan of the homeless in Austin Tx where im from but the joy of buying a pack of socks and handing them out and seeing their faces light up over a simple clean pair of socks. Dont be embarressed, just try it one day.

      November 29, 2010 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      You smell what you are my friend..

      November 29, 2010 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Lem

      C'mon Really!? Has our society gotten so bad that even a pure and simple act of kindness gets questioned?

      November 29, 2010 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
    • KRJ9

      Smell a Rat? You must be republican

      November 29, 2010 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Nick A.

      He still did a great thing and yes he has received lots of free advertisement for it. Maybe he was thinking of that from the beginning but I'm sure this poor woman and her family whose Christmas was almost ruined doesn't care if he gets the headline for the day.

      Merry Christmas

      November 29, 2010 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      I find it incredibly amusing how everyone is attacking this Freon dude's post; was his delivery a tad too blunt? Yes, but that doesn't take away from the obvious truth. This is a brilliant marketing campaign on the donor's behalf... obviously, foolish masses such as yourself will be easily wooed and flock to his business (around the holiday time, mind you) to purchase goods from this "kindly man." They can feel good about keeping their money out of the hands of the heartless megastores and have a story to share with anyone who asks about their purchases. All in all, I would imagine this singular act will bring the guy an absurdly huge amount of revenue, and all it cost him was $1000. Good for him, though, because at least he's helping someone out.

      November 29, 2010 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Freon, don't rush to judgment. He did a good thing. Have you done anything of the sort? If so, then great! If not, do more, speak less!

      November 29, 2010 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Jamey

      So the guy gives her a $1000 gift certificate and you smell a rat? Just so you know, when you read a story about someone in a newspaper and that someone lives 800 miles away, the easiest and fastest way to contact said person is to contact the writer at the newspaper. It may have made you more comfortable if the business spent another $1000 hiring a private detective to find her. Sorry he didn't ask your permission first. And as to Cindy who wrote that "she needs to learn that Xmas isn't about presents"- it's ashame you are so intrenched in your religious idealology that you didn't even comprehend the meaning of this story. It is about giving.

      November 29, 2010 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris Christian

      Actually the rat seems to be the trash that bought the 3 computers, now give me a damn break, does that lady look like she should be sending anything much less 3 computers to Jamaica. There is a lot of trash out there white and black. This is a scam.

      November 29, 2010 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Penny

      Perhaps he tried to contact her directly. Maybe her home phone is unlisted, or she doesn't have a landline and just goes cellular (like my family).

      November 29, 2010 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • kryg

      I hope this lady did not event a story.

      November 29, 2010 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • hobart

      @Chris Christian Actually, the rat is you. Stating as fact things you cannot possibly corroborate is not just opinion, but downright lying.

      When did bearing false witness become a Christian virtue?

      November 29, 2010 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • MLS

      Sheesh, that poor business man! Let's say he did it only for the good publicity. He still did a worthwhile thing for an individual who was heartbroken and if he gets more business out of it, good for him.
      For all you Dan Snyder haters (owner of Redskins and more), he does tremendous things for charity but he doesn't want them publicised because of the same reason – people will say it's self serving. We are a jaded people, people!!

      November 29, 2010 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • tammy


      November 29, 2010 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • wittywife

      So what if he is getting some advertising in the process? Businesses aren't charities; they survive only because they make money.

      He did something nice for this woman, which he did not have to do, and you're going to be a grinch about it?

      November 29, 2010 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Willie

      In this day and age....

      She left her car doors open... a family member or husband (most likely a family member) unloaded the stuff... she's hoping for someone to be kind and replace her items... so now she has double to send back to Jamaica....for resale and a profit..

      Sorry folks.. but this is the new world... no trust, no honesty and no morals...

      November 29, 2010 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • U.S. Marine

      It doesn't matter if the guy did it for publicity or kindness. Regardles of the reason, it still is wonderful that this women regained the thousand dollars back through his donation.

      November 29, 2010 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      She's in West Palm Beach,Florida and he's in Babylon ,New York. That would make it a little difficult for him to give it to her directly. Read slower next time.

      November 29, 2010 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • hobart

      @ Willie "In this day and age..." Liars such as yourself pop out of the woodwork, make us stuff out of whole cloth, and spew bile with every utterance you post. Disgusting.

      November 29, 2010 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • the plain truth

      ok people you may not want to hear this but here goes... it doesnt matter.. thats right none of it yes he did a good thing nd yes she was dumb by leaveing that much stuff in a place where it could be easily stolen... things like this do happen all the time with no one makeing a big fuss over it and with out anyone doggin anyone for there own opinion and no arguments are made... so i ask y is there now???... another truth is that there are still good people in the world but there are still not so good people in the world...and also this is not a matter of a christian act or not even atheists believe in doing good(jamey)... and pandora is right all of this not just the rude remarks is so childish... seriously y make a big deal out of nothing???... it doesnt even matter

      November 29, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. james allen


    November 28, 2010 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. charles

    Who cares why he did it it should come back to him anyway it was a good thing to do no matter the reason besides. None of us did it eh

    November 28, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |


    i just want to give you a big hug and kiss.. soem one needs to cheer you up.

    November 29, 2010 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Tommy

      Praise the Lord, this man still has christmas spirit to share with others

      November 29, 2010 at 5:54 am | Report abuse |
  5. tomcat

    clean up on aisle six. dr bads panties are all in a disaray. keep moving nothing too see folks.

    November 29, 2010 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. tomcat

    dont worry if you missed dr bad. he will be at a local blog near you. the kind folks at cnn will be now be bringing the dr bad rant daily

    November 29, 2010 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
    • MLS

      exactly tomcat!

      November 29, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. LoveMyChildren

    @ Freon...this z a very typical act of a Mason. We NEVER give gifts or anything in the manner of helping n want to b goes against one of our secret, we r not looking for anythng n return....just a thought.....

    November 29, 2010 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
    • :-)

      Since when do Masons say they're Masons??

      November 29, 2010 at 6:29 am | Report abuse |
  8. LoveMyChildren

    @ Tomcat...z he ok?

    November 29, 2010 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. tomcat

    of course please remember dr bad is live and uncensored. the monitors allow the most disgusting comments, un patriotic views, and as always he will regurgetate the same old crap over and over

    November 29, 2010 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  10. tomcat

    he is just doing his daily bm.

    November 29, 2010 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. kale

    dr bad. ..jeez man just stop

    November 29, 2010 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
  12. Guest 1980

    You're insane. Stop wasting everybody's time and go get some help. Anger won't do you any good. Therapy might!!!???!!!

    November 29, 2010 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  13. Guest 1980

    P.S that meant for dr bad or whatever your name is

    November 29, 2010 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  14. Selmers

    Typical! Some white guy sending some black chick stuff! If this was the other way around, you wouldn't even have heard about this!

    November 29, 2010 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
    • 314swfl144

      Must suck to be poor, fat and angry like you. Don't you have a busy road you can go play in?

      November 29, 2010 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Jamey

      How do you know the store owner was white and the recipient was a female? You think only white people live in New York and only black people ive in Jamaica? Ever been to either place? Racism is bad any time of the year, but your Christmas racism is particularly ignorant.

      November 29, 2010 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  15. Cocoroco


    November 29, 2010 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
    • 314swfl144

      Yes, yes your family is. Sorry for all of you.

      November 29, 2010 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
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