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Officer surprises Detroit youth minister with thoughtful gift after theft

Posted: 6:22 PM, Oct 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-02 18:40:58-04

A man who devotes much of his time helping the homeless found himself needing help. 

A couple of weeks ago, Brother Joe's Youth and Street Ministry was in Southwest Detroit when he says a man stole his guitar and ran. 

Brother Joe called police to file a report, but little did he know that the officer was going to be his angel. 

Brother Joe spends a lot of time preaching on the streets, playing music and handing out food to the homeless. In September, he was on the corner of Michigan and Central in Southwest Detroit when he put down his $300 guitar. 

“It was kind of like my right arm," Brother Joe said. "I had that thing for years and years.”

He says a man who he had just helped had stolen his guitar. 

“He jumped out, grabbed the guitar and ran,” Brother Joe said. 

He says he has helped the man many times before and was debating on whether to call the police, which is why it took him about a week to file a report.

“You don’t find people like this everyday,” said Officer LeMar Thompson, who was assigned to the case. 

He was in awe at Brother Joe's work and orchestrated some good work of his own. 

“It kind of touched me in a way,” said Thompson who bought Brother Joe a new guitar. 

He went to a shop with a picture of the stolen guitar and walked out with a similar one. 

“‘I bought you another guitar,’" Brother Joe recalled Thompson saying.  "I said, ‘Man are you kidding me?’ And I said, ‘You didn’t have to do that.’”

Thompson handed Brother Joe the new guitar on Monday, leaving Brother Joe in tears. 

Thompson added that the moral of this situation is to help others. 

“Help the next man," he said. "If you see somebody down, help them.”