Guilt Consumed Burglar Repays Stolen Money 30 Years Later

Thief makes amends

Hastings, MI – An anonymous letter writer sought out the assistance of local news and authorities. Monday both the Barry County Sheriff’s Department and 24 Hour News 8 received a type-written letter explaining how the mystery writer had been involved in a theft nearly 30 years prior.

The person admitted to breaking into a Middle Mart on M-37 north of Middleville, Michigan and stealing close to $800 in the early 1980s. He further explained how he’d been suffering with the guilt for too long and was compelled to repay the $800 with interest in hopes of redemption.

Twelve $100 bills were enclosed within the letter mailed to the local sheriff’s office, with the author’s behest they return it to the rightful owner. The correspondence had no signature or return address.

The writer expressed remorse saying he’d been a “foolish stupid man” and was sorry.

The motive for the initial theft was not disclosed, but authorities are not intending to pursue the self-proclaimed burglar with criminal charges. Nor will they be reopening the original case.

Considering the person made an attempt to pay restitution and the statute of limitations having long since expired on the crime, officials are more concerned about returning the money to the business owner. Local authorities believe they have found the man who previously owned the Middle Mart. He sold the business in 1988.


Although extremely rare, other thieves have felt compelled to admit their crime and repay those they have taken from. In 1960, 15-year-old John Bibby stole Jaffa cake snakes while working at his summer job at the Linzi Coffee Bar in Skipsea, East Yorkshire, UK. Nearly 50 years later, now 65, John confessed his theft to former manager 79-year-old Les Simpson.

In November 2008, a shop owner is Bristol, England received an apology letter and £100 from a former drug addict who stole 400 cigarettes in 2001.

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