10 On Your Side Success: After thief steals iPad from boy with autism, viewers buy him a new one

A Newport News boy receives gifts from strangers after having his iPad stolen in Newport News.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — In Newport News, two viewers made a 10 On Your Side success story after someone stole an autistic boy’s iPad.

Over the weekend, a Newport News family said someone broke into their van outside their home. Among the things taken, the iPad the boy uses to communicate with the family.

After the story aired Wednesday, we got emails and calls. All people wanting to know how they could help Brandon’s family. One couple in particular came up with a plan to do more than just get Brandon’s iPad back.

On Wednesday night, Theresa and Paul Finch watched Ashley Lechner make her plea for her son Brandon’s stolen iPad.

“It makes me very sad when a voice is taken away,” Theresa said. “So that’s kind of what reached out to us.”

Theresa said as soon as the story aired, they knew they had to do something.

“(My husband) goes, ‘We gotta call right now and make sure this kid has his iPad back,” Theresa said.

Thursday night, Paul and Theresa pulled up to the Lechner house on Circuit Lane. In one hand, Paul carried a new iPad for Brandon, but that wasn’t all.

“We couldn’t just come with an iPad,” Theresa said. “We had to come with Legos and slime and whatever we could.”

Brandon’s excitement at receiving the gifts was only matched by his mother’s reaction to the kindness of strangers.

“I’m probably gonna start crying because you don’t have many people that are willing to help like this,” Ashley Lechner said.

But if you ask Paul and Theresa, the best gift of all is what Brandon gave to them.

“It gives us a little more light to get through our day,” Theresa smiled.

A family using the holiday season to show what giving truly is all about.