San Diego

Client Gifts Car Detailer New Van After Thieves Steal His Livelihood

A South Bay man was in tears Friday evening after receiving a gift that allows him to go back to work.

Roberto Sanchez works as a car detailer and upholstery cleaner, and used to keep his work tools inside his red work van. Last Thursday, when Sanchez left his apartment to go to work, his van was missing from his parking spot at his Nestor apartment.

Without the van and tools, Sanchez could not work and had no income to support his family.

A few days after the van was stolen, Sanchez cancelled a detailing job with longtime client Thomas Holm. Holm says he knew something was wrong when Sanchez cancelled, because he never does.

"For me it's just the frustration that someone can just steal someone's livelihood just in a few minutes," says Thomas Holm.

After thinking about it, Holm said he realized he needed to do something to help. So Holm went to Toyota of El Cajon to buy Sanchez a van. And to sweeten the deal – some might call it karma for his good deed -- Holm was given a giant discount.

"I've seen Roberto start from nothing. He used to work for another detailer that I knew. He just worked his way up one car at a time and eventually he saved up enough money to buy his first used van and used equipment."

When Sanchez found out about the new van, he was in tears. He went back to work right away after receiving the van Friday evening.

"It'll help his family, his kids, help him get back on his feet and on his way again," Holm said.

Sanchez did file a police report, but there's been no sign of his old work van.

Contact Us