Insurance will pay claim for autistic man's stolen RTV

Posted at 3:13 PM, Dec 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-09 19:28:16-05

FRANKLIN, Ohio -- More than a month ago, we shared the story of 21-year-old Ryan Fisher, whose 'prized possession' was stolen from his Franklin home.

Fisher's family begged whoever took the Kubota utility vehicle to "bring it back as quietly as you took it and we don't care. We just want it back."

Now, Fisher will be able to replace the vehicle -- Erie Insurance posted on Facebook that, after many people wrote to them and begged them to look at the family's claim again, they would pay the claim.

"When we're reviewing insurance claims, sometimes there can be gray areas and it's not always a quick process," the insurance company posted on Facebook. "It's our obligation to be thorough and fair for all of our customers. It's also our obligation to do the right thing."

Fisher has autism, and his family said driving the RTV around their 3-acre yard and "pretending to work" became his purpose day after day.

"Ryan's story resonated with us," Erie Insurance said in the post. "We understand how his RTV gives purpose to his life, a sense of independence and a way to connect with the community."

A representative of Zimmer Tractor, the dealer set to provide the new RTV, said they would work to ensure the replacement Fisher receives is as close as possible to the vehicle that was stolen from him.

"We're trying to replicate it as close as we can to what he had. Down to the decals he wants to have put on the machine," said Jason Beckner.

Warren County deputies said they believe the thief was able to drive off with the small work vehicle in the middle of the night. No one has been charged in connection to the theft.