...The teen also admitted that he and his friend had prowled about 12 additional cars that night, Webb said.
“That stopped me,” said Webb. “I originally went there to talk to him and get my things back, but now we were talking about other victims.”
But Webb said her understanding was that there had been no damage to any of the vehicles because they had all been unlocked, like her car. She asked the teen if he would be willing to return the stolen items to the owners and try to make things right.
...So Webb took them door-to-door, visiting every house on the cul-de-sac, so the teens could explain to the residents what they’d done, display the items they’d taken and apologize.
“They seemed very embarrassed and contrite,” said McKee.
Most neighbors thanked Webb and praised the teens for what they were doing. A few scolded and lectured the teens, and others shared stories about the trauma of being the victim of a crime.
“I think it was good for them to hear how something that seems as minor as this can really rob people of their sense of security,” said Webb.
They were not able to find every victim that morning, but Webb said they left word that the stolen items could be retrieved at her house. Since then, only one person has contacted Webb to retrieve belongings, but many have stopped by to talk about what she did.
Webb said her block has an annual summer party and the teens have agreed to write a letter of apology that will be read at this year’s event.
“I’m actually kind of glad it happened,” said the 19-year-old. “It felt terrible to hear that people are worried and feel like they have to lock the door because of what I did. In a funny way, I feel closer to my neighbors and kind of look forward to seeing them around in different circumstances.”
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