Restaurant owner chooses not to press charges after meeting thief: 'Forgiveness is better'

One empathetic restaurant owner in South Carolina chose not to press charges against a thief who broke into the business in order to feed his family, believing instead that 'forgiveness is better.”

On Jan. 13, Kevin Scott, the owner of Mr. Seafood #1, in Columbia, took to Facebook to share that they had been robbed overnight, WIS News reports.

“Unfortunately we got hit, Fortunately no one was hurt! WE WILL BE CLOSED TODAY!" Scott wrote online, posting images of a vandalized cashier area captured by surveillance cameras, and police on the scene.

News of Scott’s decision to not press charges aganist the thief has since won praise on Facebook from those both within and beyond the Columbia community.

News of Scott’s decision to not press charges aganist the thief has since won praise on Facebook from those both within and beyond the Columbia community. (Kevin Scott)

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After circulating the footage to neighbors, the suspect was quickly identified. However, Scott decided to not call police, but instead arranged to meet with the male suspect to talk.

Two days later, the pair met face to face and had a conversation about the crime, which Scott says has since brought some needed closure.

“God inspired me,” Scott said, as per WIS News. “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.”

Ultimately, the restaurant owner contacted the authorities, and said he would not be pressing charges.

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On Jan. 15, Scott took to Facebook again to share a photo of the two men together – along with more images from the night of the crime – simply captioning the post, “Forgiveness is better.”

News of Scott’s decision has since won praise on Facebook from those both within and beyond the Columbia community.

“Wow this moved me,” one commenter wrote.

“This speaks volumes. Praying for this young man that he finds a better way. Blessings to you for forgiveness,” another agreed.

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Scott, meanwhile, told WIS News that he only did the right thing.

“I don’t do things for accolades, I do them to give glory to God,” he said.