Most new restaurants fail within 5 years of opening. Things like high overhead costs, local competition for food dollars, and even theft don’t do much to help these businesses thrive. Unfortunately, when there are no customers this means both employees and the owners themselves are the ones who ultimately suffer.
So, when the owner of Mr. Seafood in Columbia, South Carolina, caught a thief robbing his restaurant, one could almost understand why he decided to do the unthinkable. After taking a peek at the security footage, owner Kevin Scott called the cops, but it wasn’t so they could punish the wayward bandit. That’s because he had already hatched a plan that would ensure he wouldn’t personally suffer.
A post on Mr. Seafood’s Facebook page explained how the restaurant got hit over the weekend, and that’s why it was closed on Sunday. Snapshots that were taken directly from the security cameras showed a man peeking through the kitchen door to make sure the coast was clear, and then he helped himself to all the goodies inside the cash register.
Neighbors who saw the photos were able to help identify the man, and that’s when Kevin jumped into action. He had always planned to call the police to turn the man in, but now that he could track down the guy himself, a little bit of “payback” was the first order of business.
After Kevin’s actions leaked out to the public, the powerful message he sent to the man helping himself to a five-fingered discount is now making headlines for all the right reasons. Vigilantism is never a good idea, but Kevin’s form of getting back at the robber was inspired by God, and it really hit a home run in people’s hearts. He told WBRC Fox 6 News:
“God inspired me. I talked to the guy, and he said he did it to feed his family, and his story didn’t seem dishonest to me. He apologized and offered to work to pay off what he stole, but I don’t want that. I just don’t want him committing crimes.”
There’s always a story or reason behind our actions, especially when someone finds themselves that rock bottom place where they feel the need to rob others. Not everything is cut and dry, and Kevin wanted to give the robber a chance to explain himself.
More importantly, Mr. Seafood wanted to offer the thief something that he had probably never been offered before, and for which no amount of money could ever replace. Kevin posted a photo of himself with his arms wrapped around the thief, and he captioned it with three little words that said it all:
“Forgiveness is better.”
In the end, Kevin did call police, but only to let them know that he wouldn’t be pressing any charges against the other man. His kindness has received many positive responses, and he’s glad to have shown others that it’s better to forgive when you think you’ve been wronged.
Even after he was robbed, Mr. Seafood could still see that “Forgiveness is better.”