It seemed miraculous enough to Paul Gilmour that police recovered his bike, but even more surprising was the thief's handwritten apology note that came along with it.
"A police officer brought me my bike, undamaged. But there was also this handwritten letter from this guy,"
Gilmour, 41, of Portland, Oregon, says, "Apparently, when he was picked up by police, he had asked for a piece of paper and a pen and wrote out this apology letter for me. And he included $10 out of his pocket to help pay for a replacement lock."
The letter, handwritten by the thief, apologized for stealing the bike and explained why he had committed the crime.
Gilmour realized his bike was stolen when he got out of his multimedia design class Tuesday afternoon. He promptly reported the missing bike to the security. The police said they had recovered it, and that the person admitted it was stolen. Because Gilmour was able to perfectly describe the bike, the police met with him to return it to its rightful owner.
However, the letter was an unexpected added bonus. This thief's act of sincerity even had the arresting officers scratching their heads.
"The officer that returned me my bicycle, he said in the 28-and-a-half years he's been on the force, people are always apologizing because they've been caught. But in all that time, this is the first time he's interacted with someone so sincere," said Gilmour.
"I have no choice but to forgive this guy," he said. "It's just such a bizarre mix. He's obviously got issues and he's going to work through it, and he'll get his help now. The whole change of heart this guy had is really interesting."
Is such a story possible in Nigeria? Have you or your relatives, friends ever been in a similar situation, when someone felt remorse for what he did and apologized for the crime?