Man returns stolen phone with apology note

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A man who stole a cellphone from a business returned it four days later with a letter of apology, but police are not willing to forgive and forget.

Surveillance video captured the man taking the phone from Butch's Welding in Trenton on Sept. 11. The security system also recorded a man tossing the phone back over the company's fence Tuesday along with a handwritten note.

The note said: "I'm the one who took your phone. I'm in a desperate situation. I'm sorry I hurt you. I'm not that type but a situation can lead some to do dumb things."

In the note, the man wrote he is out of work, his kids are in need and he took the phone while thinking of the money he'd get for exchanging it.

Shop owner Butch Mikos and his daughter, Laureen Nichole Culliton, told they weren't interested in pursuing legal action against the man.

Culliton made a Facebook post on Monday that included the security system's video of the man swiping the phone, and an anonymous caller to the shop said the footage got back to the man, who was embarrassed, Culliton said.

"We're just glad that maybe this did change him," Culliton said. "We're hoping it's a lesson learned."

The man wrote in the note, "I promise this situation will change me."

Police spokesman Lt. Stephen Varn said detectives are pursuing the investigation even though the phone was returned.

"If he really would like to do the right thing, he should turn himself in to police," Varn said.