Burglar expresses guilt, returns $800 plus interest stolen from Michigan store 3 decades ago

Letter unsigned, with no return address

HASTINGS, Mich. - A burglar expressing guilt about stealing $800 from a western Michigan store three decades ago has repaid the money, plus some interest.

The anonymous thief sent a note and $1,200 in $100 bills to the Barry County sheriff's department in Hastings, and they arrived Monday, WOOD-TV reported.

The writer admitted breaking into the Middle Mart on Michigan 37 in Thornapple Township north of Middleville about 30 years ago.

In a letter packed with emotion and spelling errors, the writer asks for "help in locating a man" to whom the writer owes the money.

"Anyways, I did a very bad thing that I am ashamed of and have lived with this guilt," the writer said. "I can't begin to say how sorry I am but have lived with this guilt too long," the letter went on to say. "If you do find him, please tell him that I was a foolish, stupid man when I did that and I am sorry."

The letter was unsigned and had no return address.

The $1,200, while it includes some interest, falls short of making up for the loss in the dollar's purchasing power over the intervening years. The stolen $800 would be worth about $1,800 today, based on changes in the consumer price index.

WOOD-TV said the former owner of the store, now called Greg's Get-N-Go, confirmed it was broken into in the 1980s. The store was sold in 1988.

Undersheriff  Bob Baker said the letter and cash came as quite a surprise.

"This doesn't happen every day," Baker said. He said the department isn't interested in reopening the case because of the time that has passed.

 

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