San Bernardino authorities say burglars who broke into a nonprofit that helps victims of sexual assault returned their stolen loot after learning about the work the group did.
“We had no idea what we were takeing (sic),” read a note that accompanied several computers and monitors sprawled across a floor at the Sexual Assault Services Center of San Bernardino, according to the California Office of Emergency Services Newsroom.
“Here (sic) your stuff back. We hope you guys can continue to make a difference in peoples lives. God Bless.”
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Authorities say that while investigators were sweeping through the center after the July 31 burglary in city about 50 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, a street cop was talking about what had happened with area transients who were wondering what was going on. He also was explaining what kind of work the nonprofit did.
A few hours later, the burglars had returned with the booty and note.
Candy Stallings, who runs the center, said she’s convinced word quickly got around the close-knight transient community, urging whoever was responsible for the theft to return the goods, she told Cal OES Newsroom.
The nonprofit’s website
includes a note of thanks on its homepage for those who came through for the center.
Stallings told Mashable that a homeless transient visited the center a few days after the burglary to apologize on behalf of the thieves.
Police have not arrested anyone, and even though the goods have been returned, the center still sustained several thousand dollars worth of damage to an expensive alarm system and motion detector during the break-in.
Stallings said she remains touched by the change of heart.
“We were all pretty shocked,” she told NBC News.
“You’ve got to be kidding me. I was in disbelief. I got chills. I got very emotional.”
San Bernardino police Lt. Paul Williams told NBC, “This is the first time in my career I have seen the return of stolen items. It appears the guilt of taking property caused the return of the items.”
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