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Remorseful shoplifter's donation helps pay off layaways

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Updated: 12/28/2012 4:36 pm
By Erik Zarnitz
NBC News

CINCINNATI – A man has paid off a decades-old debt to Kmart to ease his nagging conscience.

The man sent an anonymous, handwritten letter a few weeks ago to the retailer's president, Rob Boire, explaining that he'd placed some clothing on layaway about 30 years ago at a Sharonville store.

The man said he'd told the woman at the layaway counter that he'd pay for the items at the front of the store, and she handed over the clothes.

"I walked out the door without paying for my clothes," the man wrote, underlining the sentence. "I don't know what came over me 'God's truth.' I have never stolen before in my life."

The man said he eventually forgot about the theft, but he had recently found religion and had prayed for forgiveness for anything he'd done wrong in the past.

"God brought back to my mind what I had done by stealing from your store," the man wrote. "I truly want to say I am deeply sorry and ask Kmart CEOs to forgive me."

The man said he was now 68 years old and wanted to right this wrong. "I do not want anything to keep me from heaven," he wrote.

Although he couldn't remember the exact amount the stolen clothes would have cost, the man guessed he should have paid between about $140 and $270.
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