A house in Guelph, Ontario was robbed by a burglar this week while the owners were out for an evening walk.
The burglar made off with a video game system and their digital camera. The couple didn’t even notice and were unlikely to worry about such an event as the town of Guelph was recently voted the safest city in Canada in regards to crime rates.
When they were leaving for work the next morning, the couple noticed a bag outside their front door with a note. The burglar had returned the stolen items, leaving an apology note and an extra $50 in the bag. The money was to repair the screen door he broke in through.
Here is what the note said:
I’m the one who committed the serious crime against your family, and I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart.
I compromised your feelings of safety in your own home and privacey and that is unforgivable. I want to promise you it was nothing personal and I didn’t go through any of your personal belongings. I’ve been having a very tough time financially lately and I made the worst mistake of my life.
I regretted it immediately afterwards… I can’t put it into words how sorry I am. Please accept everything I took plus $50 for repairing the screen. I will also commit to at least 15 hours of community service to help partially atone for what I’ve done. This is the first and last time I will ever commit a crime. If I could do more for you I would but I can’t reveal myself since getting caught would ruin my life.. just another reason I’m so ashamed of what I’ve done. I’ve jeopardized your peace of mind as well as my own.
Please find it your hearts to forgive the stranger who harmed you.
View a picture of the note here.
According to Sergeant Douglas Pflug in an interview with Today.com, the people that live in Guelph “kind of laugh that even criminals respect our crime rate and felt guilty because it did come the same week that we were voted safest city.”
Even with the genuine reply, the Guelph police are still trying to find the person responsible as they feel this is not the first crime this person has committed due to the community service hours listed being the same as the area requires for the crime.
Its just as likely the burglar researched the punishment which helped motivate them to do the right thing.
Cathy Bugyei who also lives in Geulph told CTV news why she thinks the burglar returned the property: “A lot of guilt and probably empathy. You wouldn’t want somebody to do that to you.”
The heartfelt apology certainly comes off as genuine and is fairly impressive. When I first heard about this story, I was thinking it was an attempt by the local Guelph police to keep crime statistics low, but the last few lines of the note show that not to be the case.
The family are still a bit upset by the incident. Sergeant Douglas Pflug explained that its going to take some time for them to feel safe again.
This goes to show that you cannot rely solely on police to remain safe. The best source of security is God, and anyone worried about home theft will certainly benefit from this prayer:
Oh Father, come and visit our home and protect us from the enemy; may your holy angels come to guard our peace and may your blessing remain with us forever. In Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Sources - Story: Goodnewsnetwork.org, Today.msnbc.com, CTV.ca Pictures: Wikipedia, canada.com