New Bedford Police reunite iPad with autistic child whose device was allegedly stolen by FedEx driver


“A New Bedford boy has been reunited with his iPad after a delivery driver was caught on camera and suspected of stealing it.

“He was getting ready to go to school, he was playing with his tablet outside…then she [mom] put him on the school bus and at some point, forgot the tablet on the bench,” said Nicanor, Gabriel’s father.

Edith and Nicanor’s son, Gabriel, has autism, and uses his ipad as a tool to communicate. Last Thursday, Gabriel forgot his iPad outside of his house on the way to school. Luckily, video footage captured exactly what had happened to it. Surveillance cameras captured a delivery driver leaving a package on their porch before taking notice of the iPad, which had been left on a bench. The driver is seen walking back to his truck before turning back to go to the house where he then appears to hide the iPad behind a tree planter. The driver then moves his truck down the street but is seen just four minutes later walking back towards the house. He can then be seen removing the iPad off of the porch before leaving the area.

“At first we didn’t know know what to do exactly, we started asking our neighbors, our neighbors gave us the footage of the driver putting the tablet on the floor and taking it,” said Nicanor.

And when Gabriel’s iPad was stolen, it caused a huge riff in his everyday life and routine.

Nicanor and Edith added, “He spent all night almost crying, he tried to calm down with something else but its hard for him to engage. He do a little play [on the iPad] but it’s more for communication purposes because he’s autistic, he’s 6 years old, and thats the way he can engage in communication with people.”

The couple decided to file a report with the NBPD that day, but they never expected for this to happen.

“the officer took my report and they told me, ‘oh were gonna get your tablet back,’ and it wasnt until 11:45 p.m. when they just came home with the tablet,” said Nicanor.

And how did they find it?

New Bedford Police Department photo.

“My partner, Ofc. Pereira, he ended up being able to make an inquiry, and we go to that address, and lo and behold it’s there, and we’re excited ‘cus we found it, and we bring it over to the couple…and I doubt they were ever expecting to ever get that tablet back,” said Ofc. Sarah Fine.

Ofc. Fine has only been with the department for only two weeks, and is already grateful and humbled by her experience.

“To see that joy, to give something back to someone they never thought they’d see again, especially the fact that it was so important to their child, and that was an absolute tool for them — to see them that happy — that brings joy to me,” added Ofc. Fine.

“I appreciate all the effort that New Bedford Police did for me, for my kid actually, I have so much gratitude for what they did,” said Nicanor.

Officers have requested a charge to be filed for larceny against the driver out of New Bedford District Court.”-New Bedford Police Department.

About Steven Richard

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