Woman sends $1K, apology letter to Tucson restaurant she stole from
PHOENIX — A former waitress who stole money from a Mexican restaurant in Tucson more than 20 years ago is trying to make things right.
She sent a letter to El Charro Café along with $1,000 in cash last weekend. She wrote that she had worked there in the 1990s and had stolen money from the restaurant.
“One of the waiters I worked with had encouraged me to ‘forget’ to ring in a few drinks a shift and pocket the cash. And for some stupid reason, I did it,” the woman wrote.
She only identified herself as “a thankful former employee” and said she had worked there while attending the University of Arizona.
“I grew up in the church, I knew better,” she added. “I hadn’t stolen a dime before then, nor have I since.”
The women went on to say she pocketed a few hundred dollars in total and was fired “before it could amount to more.”
“It’s been more than 20 years, but I still carry great remorse,” she wrote.
“I am very sorry that I stole from you. Please accept my apology and this money as a repayment + 20 years of interest.”
Ray Flores, president of El Charro, said the letter deeply moved his family.
He said they received the letter a day after his mother, who owns the restaurant, had her purse stolen while she was out grocery shopping.
“It caused her a lot of stress and it freaked her out, so she was pretty down,” Flores said, referring to the robbery.
He said the letter and $1,000 “restored her faith in humanity.” He added it also had an impact in his life.
“I went home and read the letter to my children,” he said.
“And it’s not about the money. The money made the impact, because it’s just an oddity that somebody would do that. But the letter really was impactful.”
Flores and his family are still planning what they’ll do with the $1,000.
One idea is to start a fund that will help servers who are in need. Another idea is to create a scholarship fund.
“We’re still trying to figure it out,” he said. “This is special money. This is money that needs to be applied for good.”