CANTON, Ohio — News 5 first met Robert Turner, of Canton, on Monday evening. We reported on his, beloved, 1997 Saturn sedan that criminals stole from his apartment parking lot the weekend prior.
The stolen car is more than just a car to him, it is a lifeline that gets him to and from weekly therapy and doctor’s appointments needed to manage his severe COPD.
At the time, he said "It’s hard to believe that people, at this day and age, would do that to people."
He’s right, it is hard to believe that some people act with no regard for others, but despite the bad, there’s always people who step up to do something good, too.
After our story aired, Robert got a call from a Canton man named Doug.
“I was going through my newsfeed and I saw your article,” he said, in a phone interview.
Doug isn’t one for publicity but he was moved by what Robert went through and wanted to help.
“It’s terrible that these things happen,” he said. “If you see somebody in need then do something about it, if you can do something about it.”
It turns out, Doug could do something about Robert’s situation. Two weeks prior, he had a car he previously gave to a family member back in his possession. He said he was planning on donating the car to someone who needed it, and after he learned about the theft of Robert’s car, he found that someone.
He called Robert to tell him about the gift.
“He was just so grateful, you know? I said ‘You know what? This is what we are supposed to do. Don’t worry about it.’”
Robert said he was overwhelmed.
“It was hard to describe, honestly, the way everything has been and then somebody actually doing something like that it was just unbelievable,” Robert said.
The two strangers turned, instantly, in to friends.
“We went to the shop. He filled it up with gas and he paid for all the transfers, the license and new titles for me,” recounted Robert.
Just a day after all that, Robert got another call from Canton Police telling him they had found his stolen car.
“The condition of the car is nondrivable,” he said. “They trashed it.”
The thieves ran off before police could stop them, and the car is currently in the shop where mechanics are evaluating the amount of repairs needed to get it back on the road.
But in the meantime, Robert is trying to figure out how to pay it forward to Doug.
“I feel that it’s only right that I gave it back to the gentleman so he can gift it to someone who really needs it,” he said.
He said the whole ordeal is a good reminder that even when you’re feeling helpless, there’s always people like Doug to restore your hopefulness.
“We are just so thankful,” he said. “I believe that people are good, overall, and this just shows that is true.”