It's no question that stealing is wrong, but that doesn't necessarily mean that thieves are bad people. Whether they're shop lifting at a grocery store to feed their family, or breaking into a warehouse to steal unsold merchandise, robberies are an unfortunately common occurrence in society.
Some thieves however, had a change of heart after they left with their stolen goods. While their act of kindness don't necessarily outweigh their initial actions, it does show that there is good in the world.
Computers Stolen From a Nonprofit
Even burglars can show compassion. Just a few hours after stealing six computer towers and a new laptop from an office in San Bernardino, California, they had a change of heart. After realizing they had broken into a rape crisis center, they thieves returned the computers and went one step further.
"I was in disbelief. We're still in shock. ... It's crazy," said Candy Stallings, executive director of San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services.
After police were notified of the break in because of the office's security system going on, Stallings was informed that the burglars made their way into the building through the roof and caused $5,000 worth of damage along with the stolen computers.
"It was pretty devastating," she said. "... I thought that we're never going to recover from this. ... Every single computer we have is so vital to the work that we do."
After police were done with the scene, Stallings headed home to get some sleep. A few hours later, police called her to say there was some suspicious activity on the property. Rushing back to her office, she found something she didn't expect.
The burglar had returned everything they had taken and even left an apology note tucked in the laptop.
The note read:
"We had no idea what we were takeing (sic)," the note read. "Here your stuff back we hope that you guys can continue to make a difference in peoples live. God Bless."
In all his 20 years working at the San Bernardino Police Department, Lt. Paul Williams has never seen anything like this.
"this was the first time that I have ever seen where somebody committed a felony and then through guilt returned the items with a note," he said. "That's some major guilt there or what?"
Stallings won't forget what has happened and plans to frame the note in the office.
"Those persons that came into the office had a change of heart. They had some compassion."
Stolen Bike Returned with an "Awesome" Apology Note.
Two thieves who had regrets after stealing a bike, have somewhat redeemed themselves with there actions afterwards. The teens who took the bike from an apartment complex decided to do the right thing, after they saw an appeal on Facebook and had a change of heart.
Mel Flesher wrote the post on Facebook that her boyfriend's kids' bike was stolen and that they had fixed it up so they they could learn how to ride.
After seeing the post, the bike was not only returned, but had its oil topped off, a full tank of gas and a new lock. They also left a note signed by "regretful teenagers who learned their lesson via restorative justice".
Their awesome note said it all:
The bike's rightful owners are not holding a grudge. Flesher shared their good actions on Facebook delighted by them doing the right thing.
"You sound like good kids!! We forgive you and hope this taught you a lesson," she wrote in her Facebook post.
Thieves Return Stolen Items To Police
The holidays tend to bring out the good in most people, even criminals.
A group of thieves accidentally made off with a shipment of armbands meant for the French national police while they were stealing Louis Vuitton products from a delivery center.
On December 24, they left the armbands outside the police station, with a note wishing law enforcement a happy holidays.
The thoughtful note read: “An unexpected windfall, luxury clothing targeted without weapons or violence. Happy holidays to all.”
They did however keep the Louis Vuitton products that they were initially stealing.
Dogs Stolen From a Blind Man Returned With A Note
When Tian Fengbo was out walking his dog one day, the unimaginable happened. Someone snatched his seeing eye dog from him and escaped in a van. The blind man depended on this dog to help him get around during his regular activities. The pup named Qiaoqiao, is only one of ten service dogs that exist in China, so him going missing was a very big deal for the man.
With concerns that the dog would never be found again, the blind man was delighted when the dog was left at the massage clinic that he owns with a note attached to the dogs collar.
It read: "Please forgive us."
After the dog went missing, there was a lot of media attention that covered the story, and it is believed that this caused the thieves to have a change of heart.
Money Jar Stolen From Family Home
It can be hard to save money, so families often have a jar they keep for a rainy day. Bill Fullbright and his family have been collecting change in an empty bottle for over 25 years. Then one day someone stole the money jar out of their garage, containing roughly $4,000.
"I was upset. Yes, it was money stolen, but it was 25 years of doing this. We were wondering how much. We're never going to know how much money was in that thing," he said.
One day 2 years later, the family received an anonymous letter in the mail.
The letter read, "I had stolen some large amount of money from you some time ago. Ashamed. I hope you forgive me."
Along with the note was $1,300.
"It gives me the chills now that someone could be so convicted that they would feel the need to pay a restitution like they did and I kind of feel for the person. I don't, in one end, that they stole from us, but the fact that they were so convicted, it must have laid heavy on someone's heart," Bill said.
He said that he wasn't interested in finding out who the identity of the reformed thief was, but is debating what to do with the money that he was left.
"Half of me says it was my money, I can do what I want to. But, the other half says that it was returned to me in a godly fashion and maybe I should pay it forward in a godly fashion."
Since their original bottle was stolen, the family had started a new one, but this one is kept in one of the bedrooms.