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 CNN.com 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. Anon

    I happen to know the business owner (I live in Bay Shore, NY – a town over from Babylon), and from what I remember he's always been very generous to his friends, customers, and family. Never heard a bad thing about him. So what if his business got a little PR through this story? He saved somebody's Christmas and gave them a second opportunity to celebrate the holiday spirit.

    November 29, 2010 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. Steve

    Great to know someone stepped up to help this family. Figured after all the airplay on the story that someone or some group would do that. Just wondering why Best Buy didn't step up and offer to replace the items. While they bear no legal obligation, the car as shown in the news report was clearly parked in THE closest spot to their front door while she went across the street to do additional shopping. Does BB not hire increased security for the holidays (and especially Black Friday) to help avert these incidents?

    November 29, 2010 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
    • eouhcee

      Oh please, it's not up to best buy to stop blacks from stealing from one another!

      November 29, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • hobart

      @ eouhcee Oh puleeezzzze. It's best not offend white racists such as yourself with even living on the same planet.

      November 29, 2010 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. Rich

    It doesn't look this lady had any business purchasing $1,000 worth of computers to send to relatives in Jamaica. I guess I just wasn't aware that ebt worked at BestBuy now. Tax payers money hard at work.

    November 29, 2010 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. phil

    @BigGameJames...Our welfare system does not distinguish colors. It was put in place for all of US, no matter what color we were born. It's a very generous system that has been abused by many. They bite the very hand that feeds them. But let me make it clear...if you have been defrauding the system, you will be found out and forced to pay-back what you have stolen from US. You don't think that the CIA moved it's headquarters to Denver to fight terrorism abroad did you? One day soon, rather than recieving a letter in the mail concerning your fraudulent activities, you will recieve a knock on your door and there will be 2 men wearing dark suits and sunglasses standing at your door.

    November 29, 2010 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Big Game James

      @Phil Nice deflection. And another nice 'assumption'. That was the point of my comment. And you followed right along just like the rest of the trash-eating goats! Look out for the guys in the white suits and the jacket that goes on backwards!!

      November 29, 2010 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. Anwar

    I just want to ask those who raise their eye brows and object the kind help of Babylon man to a family that how many of you have ever helped any one with even a single dollor. Then in doing so what were your motives and intentions?

    November 29, 2010 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. W.G.

    Now that´s a Xmas Story !

    November 29, 2010 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  7. cindy

    Christmas is not about presents and maybe this woman should learn that. Maybe we should all learn that.

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

    It is good to hear good news for a change.

    November 29, 2010 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  9. pandora

    That is so nice for the man to do that for her. I would be so grateful for him.

    November 29, 2010 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  10. larrywi

    People can be quite stupid! Put merchandise in an un-attended vehicle during one of the most highly promoted shopping event's of the year, when theives and opportunist run amuck.Go figure!! Wake up people!!

    November 29, 2010 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  11. Daniel

    So does that mean she spent her Thanksgiving camping out a store? Nice

    November 29, 2010 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  12. FD North

    With all the fraud that takes place in this world, I am curious to know if anyone actually verified if she had a receipt. Perhaps we've all been duped by this woman. As for the business man using this for free advertising....Who cares. Its better that someone benefit from the $1000 that he could have spent on a 30 second ad. He gave back to the community and got some good publicity. Get over it!

    November 29, 2010 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff S

    Its nice someone stepped up and helped her out. But I'm not sure rewarding stupidity is the way to go here. We all know we shouldn't leave valuables in our cars because this is what happens. All this does is train people to hold their hand out when bad stuff happens.

    November 29, 2010 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  14. Big Game James

    You know I am a 37-year old black man and was a firm believer in treating people the way you would like to be treated. I still believe every problem we have as a race was not brought on by the "man". But when you read these comments and posts on this and other blogs it makes you realize no matter what you do, how you live your life doesn't mean squat to some people. The next time you guys out there think someone is playing the race card find a blog on a topic like this and you will see why they "may" have a valid point. Merry Christmas, to ALL of you!! I mean that in every way to every person regardless of color. One Love!!!

    November 29, 2010 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
    • YBM

      Yes, you do have a point and I agree with you, and most of what you have posted. However stereotypes work both ways, if you don't want to be stereotyped, then don't fit the stereotype. Folks fitting stereotypes just spread and "justify" the belief system someone and biases a person has, whether it be black toward white or white toward black.

      November 29, 2010 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Roger Simpson

      Im still in shock as well with some of the comments on here. But they are internet badmen and probably dont stand up for themselves in public so they spew hate on the internet. Passive aggressive

      November 29, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • hobart

      @YBM Sadly you missed his entire point. The very existence of racial stereotypes is precisely what is evil, and that you think some fit it and some do not, like their are good blacks versus stereotypical blacks is precisely the problem. To put it bluntly, HOW DARE YOU?!

      November 29, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  15. YBM

    Good for the small business owner. Free publicity and getting to help someone out that suffered from a case of temporary (we can hope) stupidity. Everyone makes stupid mistakes on occasion.

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