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WDAY: The News Leader

Published January 05, 2012, 06:56 PM

Shoplifter asks for forgiveness nearly 4 decades later

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Some criminals do have a conscience. One man is righting a wrong committed 37 years ago at Strauss Clothing in Grand Forks.

Some criminals do have a conscience. One man is righting a wrong committed 37 years ago at Strauss Clothing in Grand Forks.

Rick Stern – Strauss Clothing Company: "We got this letter."

It was a simple letter with no return address, but when the Sterns opened it, they found quite a surprise: Five $20 bills and a note.

Rick Stern: "'37 years ago, I took a sweater from the Grand Forks store. Sorry.' Wow."

After all these years, the sender couldn't shake the guilt he felt from his five finger discount. So to make amends, he confessed and paid up.

Rick Stern: "There's so many things you can look at that make you feel better about this world that there's hope. This is one of them. People still care about their conciseness."

The Sterns are truly thankful for this act of goodwill. And they say the man paid more than he needed to because a sweater back then wouldn't have cost $100.

Straus Clothing is one of the oldest stores in North Dakota. It's been in the Stern Family since 1879.

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