Alleged Santa Thief Repents In The Spirit Of Christmas

A South Carolina man who had entirely too much to drink was captured on video making off with a Santa statue from a Greenville restaurant last week. The story delivered a redemptive ending, however, when the culprit realized the error of his ways.

The story of the would-be grinch captivated local media, and WSPA-TV reporter Henry Coburn went to Bonjour Main in downtown Greenville to speak to the owner about the theft.

While Coburn was interviewing Mayra Gallo, she exclaimed that “he’s sitting right up there.”

Sure enough, the thief of glad tidings had returned to the site of his transgression, but this time he had a much more noble intention. Less than a day after his crime, the man identified only as Melvin came to ask Gallo for her forgiveness.

He also brought the display back with him to prove his remorse.

And, like all worthwhile apologies during the Christmas season, he did not come empty-handed. Melvin showed up at the establishment carrying a dozen roses to show his regret for stealing the prized Santa statue.

Gallo, however, added a stipulation for the apology to be accepted. Melvin has to bare his soul in a taped interview with Coburn, and in the spirit of the season, the thief agreed.

Melvin told Coburn on camera that he regretted his rash decision to bolt from Bonjour Main with St. Nick. “I’m sorry,” he admitted. “Really sorry. I know saying sorry doesn’t do anything, but I promise I’ll do better.”

Coburn noted that the perpetrator “looked both nervous and extremely embarrassed.”

In the way that bad decisions have been made since long before the first Christmas, Melvin revealed that he’d been downtown celebrating a friend’s birthday and had consumed far too many alcoholic beverages. When he saw the prized Santa, he remembered he “just wasn’t thinking.”

He did, however, think “that’s cool. Wish I had it.” And that was enough.

Coburn tweeted after the interview that Melvin, less than 24 hours later and presumably less inebriated, felt “horrible” about the theft and sought to make things right. And, of course, avoid spending at least part of the Christmas season behind bars.

The regretful crook told Gallo that he would pay for any damages and work around the restaurant to “resolve the situation in the most positive way possible.”

Gallo, in a touch of Christmas kindness, agreed to allow Melvin to work in the restaurant. She declared that not pressing charges was her forgiveness for his admitting the mistake, and this Christmas tale had a happy ending.