FL jewelry store robber has a change of heart
ROSENTHAL, Fla. (WHDH) -- A jewelry store employee was distracted and robbed - but the thief had a change of heart.
When surveillance video caught his face clear as day and the story aired on 7News, he made a very welcome store return.
"He apologized to my boss and said he would return it, we figured maybe he was joking,” said a clerk at Rosenthal Jewelry Supply.
Surveillance video shows two men walking in, one of them is the one who called Rosenthal Jewelry Supply to apologize.
The surveillance video showed him very clearly chatting on his cell phone as the man in the light shirt asked for her assistance which took her from behind the counter and kept her busy.
The man in the dark shirt got busy too, sliding the case open first, then snatching a valuable piece of equipment, dropping it into the shopping bag and then strolling out while on his cell phone the entire time.
The day after the story aired on 7News, the jewelry store owner got a phone call from the thief.
"You expect a phone call from the police, not the person who robbed you,” said Raphael Adouth, owner of Rosenthal Jewelry Supply.
But this came from a payphone.
“I see that it’s a payphone. She was suspicious. I pick up the phone and the person on the line says he's the gentleman, one of the two gentlemen that committed the theft,” said Adouth.
“He said he had lost his job, he was just beside himself. He said I’m going to return the machine to you, and I was speechless,” recalled Adouth.
Needless to say, no one thought they could take the word of an admitted thief but then...
"I was shocked to see a box like that it came in, gave it to my manager, Lourdes. Oh my god, it's the gold testing machine,” said the clerk.
The 18-thousand dollar gun that analyzes precious metals like gold and platinum was back in pristine condition, with no problems.
And from the man who went from being robbed to being reunited with his merchandise?
He's offering best wishes for thief with a change of heart.
"I would thank him for returning the machine. I would hope that God would bless him and he would get back on the straight and narrow,” said Adouth.