Former waitress in Arizona returns $1,000 she stole from restaurant in 1990s

A former Arizona waitress was determined to right a wrong by mailing $1,000 in cash to the restaurant she once stole money from in the 1990s, in a surprise move that reportedly brought tears to the eyes of current staffers.

Carllotta Flores, owner of El Charro Café in Tucson, learned that an unusual letter had arrived for her in the mail on July 27.

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Carllotta Flores says the gesture had major impact for El Charro’s current employees.  (KVOA News 4 Tucson)

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The letter was from a former staffer at El Charro Café in Tucson, Arizona.  (Google Maps)


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“It's been 20 years, but I still carry great remorse. I am very sorry that I stole from you."  (KVOA News 4 Tucson)

"Friday night I received a call from one of my sons and he says, 'Mom you have to come downtown you have an envelope here and I've gone ahead and opened it,' and he says, 'You're going to be greatly surprised,'" she recalled to KVOA. Flores was soon shocked to find an anonymous, handwritten apology note along with $1,000 in cash. The letter read:

“Dear Carlotta Family — I worked for you as a waitress very briefly back in the 1990s, while a student at [University of Arizona]. 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. I grew up in the church, I knew better. I hadn't stolen a dime before then, nor have I since. Thankfully, I was a terrible waitress and you all fired me before it could amount to more than a few hundred dollars total.

“It's been 20 years, but I still carry great remorse. I am very sorry that I stole from you. Please accept my apology and this money as a repayment and 20 years of interest. May God forever bless you and your family,” the note concluded, with the former staffer signing the card, “A Thankful Former Employee.”

Meanwhile, the small gesture had major impact for El Charro’s current employees.

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Carllotta Flores says that the good news came at the end of a tough week.  (KVOA News 4 Tucson)

"Some of my managers read the letter and they actually had tears in their eyes because they know that there's very long days and food has a very little profit margin on it," Flores said, divulging that the note was just what she needed after a difficult week.

"I had my purse stolen and this sort of renewed the faith that we had a lot of good people out there," she revealed.


Moving forward, Flores’ son Ray said that the family will be “paying the money forward,” and will soon be announcing “how we can use this money for future good,” Western Journal reports.

"I don't know where she's at or who she is but I will tell you one thing. I hope that she's read or has seen what an impact this has made not only on me, my family, my business but where it will go in the future, so I hope she keeps looking to see what we're doing with it," Flores said.

Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox News Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter at @JaninePuhak