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.

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Filed under: Holidays
soundoff (197 Responses)
  1. Nase

    wow you guys are sooooooo negative hahaha....what a shame!

    November 29, 2010 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bungalo Bill

    Doesn't anyone ever think that there are people in this world who CARE? If you can't say something positive, don't say anything. Merry Christmas..........

    November 29, 2010 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Cocoroco

      Hmmm...really? Oh we skipped a holiday, um HELLO! What about being THANKFUL FOR WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE?!? Shouldn't she have spent Thanksgiving with her family instead of camping out Best Buy for DAYS?!?! The whole Black Friday is a gimmick...she could find bargains anywhere, any day, if she did her research — then she wouldn't have to deal with the hoodlums who broke into her car (who were probably camping out in front of Best Buy themselves, go figure).

      November 29, 2010 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
  3. barbara

    God bless this store owner. you would think that the store she shopped at would have offered something. its amazing someone so far away who had the ability to do so would offer. beautiful story!

    November 29, 2010 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
    • yeahright

      For those who do not own a business and are not aware about the cost of advertising.... it takes tens of thousands of dollars to advertise on a site like, so forking over a $1000 dollars to get your business name advertised in the local and national media (on the home page no less) is a true bargain. If this guys' intent was pure, he would've stayed anonymous. Some people say, who cares the intent. That's fine, but don't call this act kindness.

      November 29, 2010 at 6:17 am | Report abuse |
    • hobart

      @yeahright By golly, you're right. I feel myself being literally sucked in and shopping at this guy's store online, all thanks to the fact his kindness was reported in CNN. Now every small business is going to do the same thing, for the same reason. Oh, the socialism of it all.

      November 29, 2010 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • yeahright

      @hobart, advertising is successful if it can get a positive return on investment. For example if he spends $1000 and his business foot traffic doubles because of all the media attention and popularity brought on by the story, that is success. The people affected may only be 1 out of 5,000 who read it and limited to his local area, but that is more than enough to bring back very profitable returns. Thats how advertising works. It only needs to capture a fraction of a percent of those who see it to purchase to make it successful.

      November 29, 2010 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • hobart

      @yeahright The guy's store is in New York, and the gal he helped is in Florida. That's pretty dilute advertising. Though I do agree on one point. I like to do business with small businesses in my city that care about their customers and our community.

      November 29, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bungalo Bill

    Amen Barbara, Amen

    November 29, 2010 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. Russell

    It almost sounds like this guy knows who stole her property. I hate to say that but it is very hard to trust people anymore. I really hope im wrong and this is a good samaritan just helping out. Either way, i hope they catch the guys that took her stuff. It is becoming more and more reoccuring now that more and more people are loosing their jobs.

    November 29, 2010 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      Really Russell? I am not sure if you have taken a geography class or have had the privilege to see a map of the U.S. but WPB is about 2,000 miles away from from Babylon. Why would a wealthy business owner associate with people who steal 3 computers from a car? Advertising ploy or not, the man gave away $1000 dollars. I do agree that I hope to thief is caught.

      November 29, 2010 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. ALERT

    Bears in china need your help!
    Google "milking bear bile in china"
    seems MJ and Leslie N were fans of this practice.

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

      Huh? English?

      November 29, 2010 at 3:10 am | Report abuse |
  7. happy holidays

    that's a keeper 🙂

    November 29, 2010 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. jimmy jones

    i think this womans lying. i think she set it up so she can get a free hand out

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

      And you base that "thought" on what?

      November 29, 2010 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. fred

    Glad the thing got worked out, but I doubt there's much altruism. A truly kind gift is one that garners no press.

    November 29, 2010 at 2:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. Greek

    who the hell leaves 3 computers in a car? She deserved to get them stolen. I never reward stupidity

    November 29, 2010 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
    • redneckhunter

      We feel the same way about your mom giving birth to you. We don't want to reward her stupidity.

      November 29, 2010 at 3:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. just me

    $1000 for 3 computers? this is highly unlikely. Does she at least have the reciept ?.. If she dont i bet she is now like. Darn. now i got a $1000 gift cert and have to give that gift cert to someone in jamaca. This lady looks like shes one of them that just stays home and pops out babies for the welfare check anyway. I think CNN needs to follow this story a little more.. Ask some questions.. WHERES the store reciept. Check her cosins house and see if they are there. Be a little more investagative on this story.. Sounds like some type of scam to me.. Seems like we will hear about her being arrested for FRAUD and filing a fake police report next..

    November 29, 2010 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
    • redneckhunter

      You sound like one of those rednecks who is too stupid to get a decent job, so they blame their lousy life on everyone else.

      November 29, 2010 at 3:31 am | Report abuse |
    • avdrdr

      Actually, you can buy 3 computers at Best Buy for $1000.

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

      Something tells me that if the woman were a middle class white woman the above post would not be here.

      November 29, 2010 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  12. Shane

    That is just awesome. It's so nice to know that there are people in this world who are so kind. I feel so bad that his woman had to be robbed like that. Thank goodness for this kind man who helped replace what she worked so hard for. Camping out for two days to only have her items stolen. That's horrible. God bless the man who give her what she needed to replace the stolen items.

    November 29, 2010 at 3:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. PiXEL5

    This woman can afford three computers, why does she need the charity? There are plenty of people scraping everything they have to try and give their children some sort of gift.

    Next time put your computers in the trunk or at least throw a blanket over them. Middle-class suburban life stupidity should not be rewarded.

    November 29, 2010 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Donnie

      Exactly. How stupid are some people. You go home then come back ... and your right some people are just scraping to get ONE present for the kids. This stuff happens every day all over the country. Where are the people helping the rest of the people who REALLY deserve and need it?

      November 29, 2010 at 5:29 am | Report abuse |
  14. Cocoroco

    @314swfl144 ....hmm really, I am pretty sure I make more money than you, lol.

    November 29, 2010 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
  15. Cocoroco

    @314swfl144 blue collar

    November 29, 2010 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
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