Grocery store surprises teen by replacing stolen iPad
VANCOUVER -- Within minutes of CTV News Vancouver broadcasting a story about a Vancouver teenager who was robbed, viewers and one local business stepped in to help.
On Saturday afternoon, Connor Oderkirk went to Urban Fare in downtown Vancouver under the impression that his mother had won a gift card there.
Unbeknownst to him, the grocer had purchased an iPad Pro that morning to surprise him.
The surprise worked. Connor, looking sheepish, was speechless as the store manager handed him a bag containing his new iPad, complete with a case and stylus.
"I was not expecting this. My mom told me we were coming to get something else. Wow," he said.
Oderkirk uses his iPad for school work and he relied on it to connect with friends during the pandemic. The 16-year-old also had irreplaceable photos with his sister, Michelle, who passed away in January while waiting for a liver transplant.
Admitting he is not tech-savvy, he did not know how to find those photos and memories without his iPad.
"I'm sure I can work on recovering the photos, find a way to do it online on the cloud or something, but this just gives me the opportunity," he said.
On Monday around 9 a.m., four robbers took off with his iPad and backpack while he was waiting for a bus at Hastings and Nanaimo streets.
He said he was pulled to the ground and viciously kicked by the muggers.
At the time, he felt disheartened that no one helped him or even offer to call 911 after the attack.
"I was pretty disappointed when I didn’t see any help, but I wasn't expecting this," he said as he looked at his brand new iPad.
His dad, Jeff Oderkirk, said he is thankful his Connor wasn't seriously hurt during the mugging, adding his son is now much more vigilant about his surroundings.
"Being a young person, you kind of grow up with a sense of invincibility, and I think [the robbery] took it away from him a little bit. It's like a hard dose of reality there," he said.
The family has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.
As of Saturday afternoon, an online campaign has raised more than $1,000.
"The response from the people who gave to the GoFundMe and to Urban Fare for replacing [the iPad], it kind of restored my faith in humanity a little bit and I'm sure Connor's as well. I'd just like to say, 'Thank you,'" Jeff Oderkirk said.