An Otay Ranch man was devastated when thieves ransacked his home and poisoned some of his prized fish, but he got a happy surprise from the TV show "Tanked" just in time for Christmas.
Tanks in Eric Deas' Otay Mesa home are filled with fish in every color the eye can see — vibrant blues, oranges, and yellows. But it was a different story a month ago.
“It's just overwhelming what I'm looking at now because before I had half the amount of fish in here," said Deas.
Last month, thieves broke into Deas’ house and tore it apart, taking precious mementos and personal information. Tequila was dumped in his prized fish tanks killing many of the tropical species inside.
But his story doesn't end there.
Wayde King and Brett Rayner, the masterminds behind the show "Tanked" on Animal Planet, saw Deas’ story and knew they had to do something.
"He was so in tears and so upset that we said we had to do something immediately. Fish are people's pets too; people get attached to them, just like any other animal. When something happens to your pet, it's upsetting and it hits home. People look at them like they're their kids," said King and Rayner in a phone interview with NBC 7 Thursday.
They put together a team from Las Vegas-based Acrylic Tank Manufacturing and along with Segrest Farms, brought some holiday cheer to Deas and his home.
Dozens of fish were donated to help fill the void and out-of-this-world tanks were created.
The Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) arrested two suspects last month and were able to return some of Deas priceless items to him, including letters his mother had written to him before her passing.
CVPD said it was with the help of the community that they were able to do so.
On Thursday, Deas said that he was grateful for all the support he has received.
"I'm kind of at a loss for words because I'm so overwhelmed and my heart is heavy, in a good way though, because the outpouring of support I received is just overwhelming," he said.