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. Anthony

    I'm just wondering what this family wanted to do with 3 computers ??? Was she trying to sell them, of give them as gifts? Well if she is that rich, then she doesn't need a donation after all.

    November 29, 2010 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Penny

      The article stated she was purchasing them to send them to family who live outside of the U.S. Probably so they can keep in touch. And just because she bought 3 computers doesn't mean she doesn't need the donation. It could have been that she saved all year for Christmas, had a budget and knew she had x amount to spend. Perhaps she didn't have another $1,000 to buy more computers.

      November 29, 2010 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. phil

    Every time you leave your car, you leave valuables in it even if you haven't been shopping. The idea that you can do something to prevent theft is laughable. example: you have 3 dead-bolt locks installed on your front door at home thinking this will somehow protect your home. But right next to the door is a window with a sheet of glass to keep thieves away. Alarm systems for your home and auto? Many of the individuals who install these systems moonlight as thieves. These measures may make you feel safer, but you really aren't. Face it. America is full of thieves from top to bottom and their numbers are growing. There is nothing to stop it.

    November 29, 2010 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. EGH129

    Let me guess this fool didn't lock her car and most likely had her window open. And shes from Jamaca? Kingston no doubt, where everyone is so honest. The guy did a nice thing thing but to reward an idiot is really the Xmas spirit.
    Who wouldn't score all these good deals and go home and unload them and then continue to shop? What an idiot.

    November 29, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • jamaicanboy123

      you must be racist. if someone stole somethin from you i would be the first person to call the news media and tell them tell you "what goes around comes around" man, white people these days... what is up i thought racism died down sorta i guess not.

      December 1, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Suzy

    I have read all the post on here and some of the post really shocks me because of the hatred. A man helped out a woman he saw on TV and everyone wants to bash that. It's not the presents..it's the giving. Isn't that what Christmas is all about is the Giving? Maybe someone blessed him and he saw a way to bless someone else. By blessing her he also blessed her family she was sending the gifts too. I pray everyone has a very blessed Christmas, even those who have so much hatred in their hearts.

    November 29, 2010 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. anon

    It's obvious what happened here...she had her friends jack the goods!

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

      What's obvious is you're a liar. Next?

      November 29, 2010 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. Penny

    Dear Thieves: It is not our fault that you see ourself as worthless, and they you have no honor or dignity. It is not our fault that you probably had lousy parents and you probably have kids you don't even take care of and have probably abandoned them. It's not our fault if you have chosen to be so incredibly uneducated that you can't even get a job at McDonald's because they won't have you (you'd probably steal from them anyway). Most likely you don't even know how to turn on the computers you stole! It's not our fault that you have chosen to be a low-life. So don't steal from us because of your rotten life choices. Perhaps you can choose to do something worthwhile with you life so you can hold your head up high, instead of slithering around parking lots, hiding like a coward, waiting to steal from hard-working members of society.

    November 29, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. avdrdr

    The cynicism expressed here is pathetic. The business owner deserves all of the positive attention his act generates. It would cost him a lot more to buy annoying ads. He combined a kindness with a smart business decision. If I lived near his business, I would patronize it.

    November 29, 2010 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. Cosmo

    What time it is?

    November 29, 2010 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  9. Ben

    Good job

    November 29, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. makes sense

    sounds like a win win, everyone is happy{if it is not a scam}

    November 29, 2010 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  11. EGH129

    On second thought maybe she was so high Jamacan ganga she had to eat all of those items. If she poops out a flat screen or 3 will she return the 1000 dollars?

    November 29, 2010 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  12. hobart

    @ eouhcee

    LOL. You're so full of bigotry you actually believe your own lies.

    November 29, 2010 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  13. Lou from NH

    People need to look at this for simply what it is – someone came to the rescue of another after something bad had happened. The woman was an innocent victim of theft, and this businessman came forward to help. These are the kinds of stories that warm the heart and bring the true meaning of the holidays to light.

    November 29, 2010 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  14. MLS

    to Ms. Sarli,
    You indicated that the trunk is the safest place to put expensive items. Better than in plain site, but crooks do have eyes and they do scope out parking lots, esp during this season. They could see her put her items in the trunk as well. And I'm sure it's not too difficult to pop a trunk open.

    November 29, 2010 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • kado

      Absolutely right. One Christmas, my mother and I loaded my trunk and began to walk back toward the stores for more when we happened to notice a couple of guys off in the distance watching us. We got in the car and parked it on the other side of the mall. Not all shoppers bother going inside the stores.

      December 1, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Roger Simpson

    I read these comments and then I understand why Wikileaks did what they did.

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