Why this business owner hired the stranger who stole from him

If you’re a business owner, what would you do if you caught someone stealing from you?

Naturally, you would report such an incident to the authorities so that the suspect can be lawfully dealt with. And while that is the right thing to do in such cases, this man did the opposite. Instead of putting a thief behind bars, this business owner gave him a job!

In Waipahu, Hawaii, a 33-year-old man named Travis Sueyoshi was caught by a surveillance camera stealing from a construction site. And this was not his first offense there. Sueyoshi had also stolen approximately $10,000 worth of tools in between two visits one month before.

Travis Sueyoshi caught stealing from a construction site
Hawaii News Now

“I was just having some problems,” said Travis. “I ended up taking some stuff.”

John Paul Cates, the owner of TSW Fabrication, was understandably furious about the theft.

“We work hard for our stuff,” he told Hawaii News Now. “It’s a family business.”

But then everything changed when Travis returned to the construction site three days later. He came back there not to steal again but to apologize for what he did. He was overcome with remorse for the crime he committed.

“I felt wrong for what I did,” he said.

John Paul Cates, owner of TSW Fabrication
Hawaii News Now

After saying his apologies, Travis told John that he wanted to make things right.

“He said, ‘I’ll work it off. I’ll do whatever,'” John recalled. “Somewhere in that conversation the moment changed. I was looking at him and I was like, ‘No, I don’t want you to work it off. I’m going to hire you.'”

True to his word, John did just that.

And Travis surely didn’t disappoint. Since getting hired, he had been showing up to the site at 7 a.m. sharp every day, even though he didn’t have a home and a car.

His responsibilities include keeping the area clean and organized, but it looks like he has been attempting to learn other skills, like building wooden shelves.

Travis Sueyoshi
Hawaii News Now

Despite his dark past, John is optimistic about what lies ahead for his new employee.

“We really want him to grow with us,” he said. “And we really want to find a place for him to lay his head at night. A legitimate place.”

John also hopes that Travis will become a steelworker by trade someday, and the latter does, too.

“For my future, part of me hopes I last long with them, and I become one of these guys on the roof,” Travis said.

Like this business owner, a police officer in Massachusetts chose to exercise compassion for two women caught stealing groceries from a Stop & Shop grocery store.

On December 30 last year, Somerset Police Officer Matt Lima received a call from the store about a theft incident.

According to the store security, the women didn’t scan all their items at the self-checkout kiosks. When he printed out their receipt, he noticed that a few of the groceries they took weren’t there.

Officer Matt Lima
Somerset Police Department

The suspects, who were shopping with two young children, came clean when Lima talked to them.

“The woman I talked to, she explained she was working, but the mother of the children was not working and had some other family issues going on and that what she had taken was Christmas dinner for the kids,” Lima said.

When Lima checked their receipt, he saw that they were really just buying food. So instead of pressing charges, the kind officer served them “Notice Not To Trespass” forms.

Not only that, but he also gave them a $250 gift card so they can buy groceries—the right way, this time—at another Stop & Shop branch!

Truly, one act of compassion can bring about huge changes to one person’s life.

Please share this story with your friends and family.

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