Together we can change the world, just one random act of kindness at a time- Ron Hall
Adrian Salgado, a gardener was just starting his day in Santa Ana, California but things took a quick turn when some thieves stole his Toyota pickup truck, cell phone, landscaping equipment, along with $1,000 of saved up rent money.
Adrian was quick to chase the two men on foot but lost them once they drove off in the truck.
He alerted his daughter, Elizabeth, who then called 911 said Anthony Bertagna, a spokesman for the Santa Ana Police Department.
The officers then tracked down the truck with the help of Find My iPhone app from Elizabeth’s phone. The officers tracked the two suspects and cornered them in Westminster.
The two suspects when arrested, each only had $500 cash in their pockets, saying it was their own money. By law, the cash was entered as evidence and couldn’t be returned to Adrian Salgado.
Other items consisting of a lawnmower, edger, hand tools, leaf blower were no where in sight including some other items from the truck. The estimated value of all the missing items and cash was $3,000.
Anthony Bertagna added, “He may never get that money back unless they change their story.”
Salgado was only a landscaper and losing the money was a huge blow as he had no means of replacing the tools. Sgt. Michael Gonzalez said that when he looked at Salgado, he reminded the officers of their own father. “We all came from working-class families,” he added. Lysette Murillo, a fairly new officer in the force, had a brilliant idea to replace Salgado’s tools as all the officers could chip in to make it up to $500 to make good all that he had lost.
Santa Ana Police Officers Association’s President Gerry Serrano was contacted by the officers, who said that he was “touched by the story” of Salgado. Another $500 was donated by the police officers association.
The local Home Depot heard of the story and added another $100 in buying of the equipment. As some of the officers were reservists, Home Depot also offered military discounts. Seven officers walked the aisles and bought all replacement tools. One onlooker handed them 40 bucks upon understanding what was happening.
Salgado took those items graciously and went home to get back right to work because he had clients to serve. “That’s what floored everyone,” said Gonzalez.
Elizabeth thanked the Santa Ana police in a video posted to the Santa Ana Police Officers Association’s Facebook page. “Now I can see my dad with a smile because he can go back to work,” she said.
“This gentleman is my mother’s gardener and has been for over 15 years. He’s the most wonderful man. The SAPD couldn’t have helped a more considerate person,” added a women on the Facebook post.
Gonzalez added,”I’ve been doing this job for 27 years. Every so often it’s a good day. That was a good day.”