MIAMI (CBSMiami) — An anonymous letter from a person who had shoplifted a book from a South Florida store years before carried more than cash – remorse.
Employees said a young girl walked into the Miami Beach location of Books & Books and left an envelope for the store manager – inside was a letter with a confession.
“When she opened the letter that was dropped off she found a, kind of, mea culpa from somebody,” Books & Books owner Mitchell Kaplan told CBS4’s Ted Scouten.
The letter read, “In the summer of 2014 I came to your shop and being the angsty teenager I was I shoplifted a book. I immediately regretted it and have every intention of making things right but as we all know life works in interesting ways. I ended up moving to Mexico and hadn’t been able to return since.”
The letter written on a ripped piece of Danpex notebook paper, went on to explain the remorse the person felt.
“I finally returned it’s about time that I clean up this mess that ‘angsty’ irresponsible 15 year old me made and relieve myself of my guilty conscience.”
And the book option was not a bad pick.
“The book was titled Third Girl by Agatha Christie (a great book and a tremendous author by the way) and if I remember correctly it cost about $13.99 – $14.99.”
The letter came with $16 in cash attached and a sincere apology for the incident and then some.
“Hopefully this makes up for things. I am truly sorry about my stupidity as well as the horrendous amount of run-on sentences in this letter.”
With no signature, the words and cash were laid out ready for anyone who would accept the apologetic gesture.
“I would sign my name but I saw this one news article about a guy getting arrested for an overdue library book once and I can’t have that. Thank you for understanding.”
On the receiving end was the store’s manager Nalani Anderko who had a message for the person who wrote the letter.
“Thank you. That’s nice. It is nice,” Nalani told CBSMiami.com.
Kaplan was shocked to get the letter.
“I was very heartened by the fact that, still this day and age, when things seem so rough and people seem not to be so cognizant of issues of conscience, that this young person had a conscience so well-developed, that she could be so reflective that it bothered her all these years and she made amends for it,” said Kaplan.
Some customers were blown away by it as well.
“I think it definitely shows there’s still good in people,” said Nicole Pillar. “I don’t think that’s very common, especially now that someone would repay, they did something wrong and paid their dues.”
And there was also a moral to the story.
“I think the lesson is you need to say your sorry if you screw up and we all make mistakes in life,” said Kaplan.
With that, Anderko, grateful for the gesture, said the cash will be deposited in the store’s account.
Those at Books & Books also said they want to meet this person, maybe to offer them a job.