One Philadelphia business owner is offering the burglar he believes robbed his store twice $20 and a job offer if the person returns for a third a time.
Luke Smith, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia's Germantown neighborhood and married father of four, told WCAU-TV that a burglar recently came twice to his store in one week, taking tools and copper pipes the first time and disappearing with everything else of value in the store the second time. Smith believes that the same burglar robbed his store, a "fixer-upper" he bought a month ago, on both occasions.
But rather than respond with anger and frustration, Smith chose to take a softer approach — and to install security cameras.
"I'm not a rich man and have many mouths to feed, but you need this $20 more than I do. I'm sorry I can't afford more," Smith penned in a hand-written letter that he posted beside his store's front door, along with the money, according to WCAU.
"It was a deliberate change in my outlook, not to be angry about this," Smith told WCAU. "We just don't get reminded enough that we all should do that and I'm going to try to do it more often."
The entire text of Smith's letter reads as follows:
Dear Fellow Human,
If you broke into my building a third time despite the cameras, you must really be desperate for money.
Since you've already stolen anything of value, please take this $20. I hope it helps you. And I hope you can find a way to make money and support yourself through less destructive means.
I've lived in Germantown my whole life and am committed to improving it. I want to hire locally and if you're looking for work you should drop by during the day sometime and offer your help. This building has been nothing but headaches and I could use a helping hand from my community.
I wish you luck and prosperity.
P.S.: I'm not a rich man and have many mouths to feed, but you need this $20 more than I do. I'm sorry I can't afford more.
As of Friday, no one has yet responded to Smith's letter.
Follow Kathryn Blackhurst (@kablackhurst) on Twitter