As Brandon Turner watched live security footage of his inflatable pool being taken from his backyard, his first thought was that his kids were out a pool for the summer.
Out of work since Nov. 30, he had recently stopped receiving unemployment benefits and knew he couldn’t afford to replace the pool.
Watching on his phone during a Father’s Day trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, Turner, 32, never could have imagined the incident might help him land a job.
But then the high-resolution footage from his security camera aired on the news, and what seemed at first to be an unfortunate occurrence began to bear unexpected fruit for Turner and his family.
On Monday morning, a sympathetic neighbor dropped off a newer pool to replace the stolen one. Someone who recognized the two people shown on Turner’s security camera footage donated a second pool and asked him not to pursue charges.
Then the alleged perpetrators themselves came by to apologize, saying their own pool had been stolen and they had taken Turner’s after mistaking it for their missing one.
According to a police report, the theft occurred about 3 p.m. Sunday at Turner’s home near 27th Street and Himebaugh Avenue, south of Miller Park.
Turner said he doesn’t care if the old pool is returned, nor does he plan on pursuing charges. After all, he now has two pools for his two kids, 5-year-old Alex and 9-year-old Abby.
“I’m a firm believer in second chances,” he said. “It seems like they got enough shame from the Internet, and everyone who knows them seeing the video and knowing ‘You stole a pool from a kid.’ ”
The cherry on top came with Turner’s own second chance. A former employer saw a news report about the pool ordeal, and called to discuss permanent employment.
The details are still up in the air, but just the possibility that he might get a job is worth far more to Turner than the pool. He said the whole experience has been wild and inspiring.
“You can’t make this stuff up,” he said. “This whole thing has reaffirmed my faith in the community.”