waitress returns money stolen 20 years ago

A former waitress was so remorseful about the money she stole from an Arizona restaurant in the 1990s that she returned the sum in cash – plus 20 years’ interest.

On July 27, Carllotta Flores, owner of El Charro Cafe in Tucson, received a peculiar call from her son. “Mom, you have to come downtown, you have an envelope here and I’ve gone ahead and opened it,” Flores said her son told her. “You’re going to be greatly surprised.”

So Flores rushed downtown to the restaurant – and when she arrived, she was shocked to find an anonymous handwritten apology note from a former employee, along with $1,000 in cash. Read the full text of the note below:

“Dear Carlotta Family — I worked for you as a waitress very briefly back in the 1990s, while a student at [University of Arizona]. One of the waiters I worked with had encouraged me to ‘forget’ to ring in a few drinks a shift and pocket the cash. And for some stupid reason, I did it. I grew up in the church, I knew better. I hadn’t stolen a dime before then, nor have I since. Thankfully, I was a terrible waitress and you all fired me before it could amount to more than a few hundred dollars total.

“It’s been 20 years, but I still carry great remorse. I am very sorry that I stole from you. Please accept my apology and this money as a repayment and 20 years of interest. May God forever bless you and your family,” the note concluded, with the former staffer signing the card, “A Thankful Former Employee.”

What an amazing gesture of repentance – and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Flores told KVOA News 4 Tucson, “I had my purse stolen and this sort of renewed the faith that we had a lot of good people out there.”

Flores added, “I don’t know where she’s at or who she is but I will tell you one thing. I hope that she’s read or has seen what an impact this has made not only on me, my family, my business but where it will go in the future, so I hope she keeps looking to see what we’re doing with it.”

People make mistakes every day, but not everyone corrects those mistakes, much less decades later. As Flores said, it’s truly inspiring to see that goodhearted people still exist.

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