Community rallies to help boy, grandmother whose Atlantic City home was burglarized during Hurricane Irene
ATLANTIC CITY — More than a dozen people reached out Tuesday offering help to 13-year-old Charles Carson and his grandmother, Patricia Hall, who evacuated during Hurricane Irene and returned to a burglarized home.
Renee Stone, who lives in the Venice Park section of the city, said she plans to donate school supplies to Carson because she wants him to “know there is kindness and compassion in this city, not just crime and selfishness.”
People also reported thefts and break-ins in Somers Point, Pleasantville and Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Police in Egg Harbor Township and Atlantic City made several arrests during the evacuation after catching people walking the street with stolen items. Additional cases remain open.
Stone, 39, doesn’t know Carson or Hall, 59, who live in the resort’s Back Maryland neighborhood. She learned about the dilemma after it was featured in a story about crimes during the storm published Tuesday in The Press of Atlantic City.
“I was nervous about leaving my home unattended during the storm. I fared much better, but my heart actually hurt while I looked at the young man’s photo,” said Stone, a mother of three.
Carson, an eighth-grade student at Oceanside Charter School, bought a new computer and backpack, plus clothes, three pairs of shoes and other supplies, during a back-to-school shopping trip less than a week before the items were stolen. The culprits also grabbed his orientation packet.
Stone was among 11 readers who contacted The Press on Tuesday. Hall said friends and strangers also inundated her with phone calls about the stolen goods, worth about $5,000, according to her estimates. Police responded immediately when Hall called after returning from Pleasantville following the storm to find her duplex ransacked.
“I just couldn’t believe it — I was overwhelmed,” Hall said. “It was really heartfelt and appreciated.”
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