The entire contents of the cash drawer – over $3000 – was stolen in late August from Cocoa Grinder in Brooklyn, New York City. But it was the response the owner, Abdul Elenani, had to the coffee shop burglar that astonished everyone.
“It’s definitely unusual. I dunno I like the fact that he’s humble and he’s forgiving,” said Samantha Gorovets, an employee of Elenani’s.
After the ordeal, Elenani didn’t call the Police but decided to pen an open letter of forgiveness to the coffee shop burglar. Offering mercy and beseeching the burglar to change his ways, the letter was hung on a banner outside his coffee shop (below) in hopes of attracting the coffee shop burglar’s attention.
Part of the letter reads: “I didn’t report this, and I didn’t check the cameras to see who you are. I’d rather just not know. If the money you stole was to better you and your family’s living, then I forgive you. If it was stolen for you to go out there and ruin yourself and health, I still forgive you and ask of you to fix yourself.”
Locals are torn about the bold move, with some local business owners berating him for not calling the Police while others support and applaud his clemency.
“People tend to forget to forgive, and it becomes all about taking revenge,” said Elenani. “Rather than harming the person, I want to send them a clear message. I’d rather forgive the person and hopefully he changes.”
Elenani said religion was a big motivator him and “as a Muslim, that’s what I was taught — to forgive.”