Regretful shoplifter pays up

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The proprietor of a gasoline station in the small Norwegian town of Skotselv, Buskerud County, received an unusual letter containing NOK 500 (nearly USD 100) this week. The sender claimed he had occasionally stolen candy from the gas station’s convenience store as a child, and wanted to repent.

“Hi. When I was young I sometimes took candy without paying,” wrote the anonymous sender of the letter to the Best station, formerly an Esso station. “I suddenly now have a bad conscience! I can’t live with it!”

The writer asked the proprietor to “please take the money” and pass it on to Best. Shahnvaz Mirlashari, who now runs the station with his father, was impressed.

“At first I thought this was a joke, but then I realized it was serious,” Mirlashari told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). Even though a surprising number of Norwegians passed an informal honesty test recently, Mirlashari noted that “not everyone has a conscience like that.”

He said he’s sure the NOK 500 is more than enough to compensate for the candy stolen years ago, but since the shoplifting occurred before he and his father took over, they don’t feel entitled to it. “This isn’t money for goods that were stolen from us,” he told NRK. He and his father have thus agreed to  pass the money on to charity.

Views and News staff