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Ellen DeGeneres gives $1,500 to family after U-Haul theft

November 15, 2011 |  3:13 pm

Photo: Allen Bischofberger and his 5-year-old daughter Peyton. Credit: KTLA-TVTV host Ellen DeGeneres surprised a Long Beach family Tuesday with $1,500 in gift cards and a plasma television as the husband and wife appeared on her talk show.

Allen and Tami Bischofberger and their children lost nearly all their belongings when their U-Haul truck was stolen Sunday morning during a move to Southern California.

DeGeneres’ producers called the Bischofberger family to invite them to a taping after hearing of their plight. After introducing the couple on her show Tuesday, DeGeneres gave the family a $1,000 gift card to Target, a $500 gift card to Rite Aid and a 42-inch plasma TV.

“We want to make it up to you so you know you feel welcome in California,” DeGeneres said on the taped program.

Allen Bischofberger was in the process of moving his family from Northern California after accepting a job in Long Beach when his 27-foot U-Haul truck was stolen from the curb outside his brother’s house.

He estimated that 80% of the items were missing when authorities recovered the truck early Monday morning. However, family pictures and some of his children’s stuffed animals were recovered.

Since the loss, Bischofberger said he has received more than 250 emails offering aid and assistance.

“Somebody steals stuff, and you kind of get mean,” Bischofberger said. “It’s nice to feel and see that people do care.”


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-- Matt Stevens

Photo: Allen Bischofberger and his 5-year-old daughter Peyton. Credit: KTLA-TV