Eliza Webb received a car thief’s apology after she took it upon herself to hunt down the teen offender.
After her vehicle was ransacked, Webb found a mobile phone in her vehicle, which she assumed belonged to the thief. Based on the phone, she also had reason to believe the thief was a teenager.
Rather than calling police, Eliza decided to hunt down the young criminal. Eliza herself is married to a man whose youthful indiscretions with drinking have forced him to disclose a criminal charge on job applications, rental property leases, and more. Not wanting the same for the young thief, Eliza decided not to call police.
Speaking to the Seattle Times, the car theft victim sais:
“I think bringing the police and courts into something like this can have long-term, devastating consequences for kids.”
She further adds:
“I wanted to meet him, talk to his parents and see if there might be another way. I felt that if I could get him to own up to what he’d done and understand there were consequences, it could be a much better outcome.”
After she got a hold of the 19-year-old car thief, she was given an apology but it didn’t end there. Eliza Webb took the teen and his cohort door-to-door where they apologized to 13 people who they stole from. The teens had stolen items that ranged from cellphones and laptop chargers, sunglasses, a fedora, and even Webb’s gym shoes. The boys still had all of the items in their possession, and they returned all of the stolen items to their rightful owners.
Neighbors say they can’t believe that someone would take the time to do what Eliza Webb did for children who were not her own. The teen’s mom was also grateful, telling The Times:
“At first I thought she should press charges. I thought it would be the only way he would learn that there are consequences for criminal activity. But after I talked to Eliza and her husband, I saw how disastrous that could be.”
The teen himself also responded: “I was astonished at how bad my judgment is when I’ve been drinking and I don’t want to risk my freedom over something stupid.”
The decision not to press charges following the car thief’s apology was a simple one for Eliza Webb; 12 years prior, her husband was arrested for underage drinking and was criminally convicted.
Webb has also revealed that she has worked with the boys to pen an apology letter which they will read at the neighborhoods annual summer party.
We often think of prison when we think of rehabilitation, but sometimes, as Mrs. Webb has shown, it just takes a village.
Are you impressed with the car thief apology story and how it was handled by Eliza Webb?