A month after her beloved necklace was snatched during a robbery, a local woman was reminded in a big way that there are still good people in this world.
Verna Void, 57, says she was on her way to get treatment for skin cancer back on June 12 and boarded a SEPTA route 38 bus. As the bus stopped at Broad and Chestnut Streets, police say a man who was sitting behind the woman got up to leave. As he exited the bus, the man snatched Void’s gold chain and cross from her neck and fled the bus on foot.
"I was just minding my own business and he just reached over," she said. "He ripped it off my neck."
Void suffered a laceration on her neck due to the chain snatching. She says her injury required extra care since there was concern it could exacerbate her skin cancer.
"It was so traumatic to me that he did that and the fact that I have this condition," Void said. "I had to go to the doctor."
Void also says the stolen chain and cross are particularly meaningful to her because they were the only things she had left from her child’s father who died last year. She says she wore the chain for more than 30 years.
Credit: Philadelphia Police
After NBC10 reported the story Tuesday night, one of our viewers felt compelled to take action.
"I felt really bad that she had to encounter such a sudden and violent act," said Pietro Pace, owner of Pietro Jewelers. "I thought to myself, what if that was my mother?"
Pace contacted NBC10, saying that he wanted to help Void. After meeting her, he gave her a gold chain and cross from his South Philly Jewelry store at no cost.
"It's perfect!" said Void after trying it on. "It's just what the other one looked like!"
Police continue to search for the man who robbed Void, believing he will likely strike again. Thanks to Pietro however, she has a renewed faith in humanity.
"Not only seeing the joy but more so the gratitude was very touching to me," said Pace. "Because she said things my mother would say. That God would take care of it."
"It shows that there are still kind people in this world and people that care about other people," Void said. "When bad things happen to them, they reach out. It's all good."
Pietro also started the South Philadelphia Charitable Foundation, a group of business people who perform random acts of kindness.