October 31, 2015 Evan Robinson 16 who has autism displays a Halloween decoration on his front lawn that he has a special attachment to. The young man had saved his money to buy it and has taken care of it. He has developed an attachment to it few people who do not have autism can understand or empathize with. On Halloween night, it was stolen from his yard. His father John contacted Police to report the theft stating his son was distraught over the theft.
While it may not have been the crime of the century it was to Evan. John told KSDK News “He called us, uncontrollable, distraughtness, crying, having a breakdown, saying someone took his inflatable,” of his son Evan.
Officer Ryan Miller responded to the home to take the call and interviewed the residents and could tell that this was very important to Evan. He understood teh significance that inanimate objects can hold to people with autism. “You know a lot of times, people who suffer from autism, they associate a lot of meaning to inanimate objects that a lot of people think is just nothing,”
Officer Miller took to social media and posted a photo of Evan with the inflatable decoration on the Department’s Facebook page with the notice that it had been stolen. He also explained the circumstances regarding purchase of the item and the fact that Evan had an attachment to it. Stating “This item is of particular importance to this family because it belongs to an autistic child, who worked all summer to save money to purchase it. It means more to this child than most people realize.”
The post continues: “Some people might think it’s funny hi-jinks to do such a thing, but it is still a crime. More importantly, the people that stole this item have no idea how much distress they have caused to a child who has done no wrong to them.”
The post received a few hundred shares and the item eventually was returned on the front steps of the Robinson’s household.
It was probably not what Officer Miller had expected. What he had done as well was gone out and gotten an inflatable decoration for Evan himself for Christmas and delivered it to the Robinson household for Evan. Miller stated he thought “If I can’t get that back for him, I know there is something I can get for him. I just found a Santa inflatable, he had the flashing lights and I just thought, ‘This is going to be for him,'” Miller told KSDK.
“We’ve been talking about kindness all day. I haven’t cried this much as a grown man in 50 years,” said John.
“Being kind is free,” said Miller.