BROOKLYN — A Brooklyn man whose Kenneth Cole messenger bag was stolen is getting the $300 tote replaced thanks to the designer's Google alerts.
Kenneth Cole — the person, not the brand — decided to replace the stolen bag after DNAinfo New York's story about the crime popped up through a Google alert he'd set up for his name.
The theft happened on June 4 when Gary Cotton, 25, set his Kenneth Cole bag down on a bar stool at a crowded Applebee's in the Atlantic Terminal Mall while watching Game 1 of the NBA playoffs.
Someone swiped the bag, which contained Cotton's $2,300 work computer. The Apple laptop was covered by Cotton's employer's insurance, but the bag was uninsured.
“It was a really nice bag,” said Cotton, who got the satchel as a Christmas gift from his mom. “Apparently the person who stole it thought it was a pretty nice bag too.”
Cole was moved by Cotton's plight, tracked him down and offered to replace it.
"We were hoping to ease this individual's misfortune of having lost his computer...(At the risk of being an accessory after the fact)," Cole wrote in an email to DNAinfo New York.
The designer is a fan of puns and writes his company's billboards, sometimes stirring controversy. He was born in Brooklyn and is married to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's sister Maria.
A Kenneth Cole spokeswoman called the gesture a "pay it forward story."
“Hopefully [Cotton] goes on and does a good deed for someone else,” said spokeswoman Samantha Cohen.
Cotton said he'll be more likely to choose Cole's fashions in the future, and more likely to keep an eye on his belongings.
“You can’t set things down even for a moment and take your eyes off of it, because people are opportunists," Cotton said.