A thief returned to a restaurant two bottles of ketchup, in return for a stolen one, citing karma and overwhelming guilt. The owner was so moved by the thief’s penance that she has offered her a job.
“I hope returning two new bottles will restore some [luck] for me, and I can stop carrying around this guilt,” the thief wrote in a note, left with the ketchup bottles outside Perkins Restaurant & Bakery in New Jersey, United States.
“A few weeks ago, I had taken one of your ketchup bottles off the table because for some odd reason I thought it’d be ‘risky,’” read the note, which was posted to a community page called Lacey Township Chatter last week, according to New York Post.
“I am as square as they come and this is the worst thing I’ve done,” the woman said.
“Well, a few hours I did it someone crashed into my car, and since then, my karma, luck, and life have been s–t,” the note read.
The ketchup thief also apologized to the restaurant for causing them inconvenience, the “same way my life has been inconveniencing me.”
The woman then signed off with, “From, an awful person.”
Restaurant manager Charlene Reebe told New York Post that she found the note on Wednesday night while checking the establishment’s doors at closing time and cleaning up trash left around outside cans.
“There was just a normal, little grey Walmart bag on the side of a can, on the ground, and I remember thinking to myself, ‘Why didn’t someone just put it in the can?’ ” Reebe said.
“And I open it up, and there’s a letter, receipt and two bottles of ketchup in there.
“I was very surprised,’’ Reebe said.
She said the ketchup theft wasn’t even noticed until the note.
A receipt showed the thief had paid $2.78 each for the 32-oz. ketchup bottles — 12 ounces more each than the 20-oz. Heinz bottle stolen from the restaurant.
“The minute you put on the news these days, it’s always terrible things happening and this just was something nice,’’ Reebe said.
She said the thief was “probably a very nice young lady and that she do have a conscience.”
“What I’d say to her is she’s a good example of how kids should think things through before they do them, and even if they do make a mistake, that they own up to it,’’ added the 54-year-mom of a son and daughter, both in their 20s.
The restaurant’s owner, Maria DiLeo, posted a photo of the thief’s note on Facebook, saying
“Hope all goes better for you. Lesson learned’’
“How could you not forgive someone like that?” The Post quoted her as saying.
“I was like, this poor kid, she must feel terrible,’’ the owner said. She would hire the conscientious thief a job “ in a second,’’ she added.
“Because if you do something like that, you’re not an awful person. You’re an honest person.’’
The eatery has now put on display the note, receipt and two bottles of ketchup.