'Ashamed' Thief Returns Stolen D-Day Plaque Along With £200 And Apology Letter
Each of the brass plaques, which bore the name of the infamous Normandy beach landings - Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah - were stolen from Castle Park in Bristol on 2 September.
They had only been unveiled three months earlier to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the iconic military operation.
But in the space of a week, the thief seems to have had a crisis of conscience and returned one of the plaques - as well as £205 in cash and an apology.
In the contrite note, the anonymous vandal said they were 'ashamed and shocked' by their 'drunken state'.
It read: "I hope this donation along with the plaque I returned can go some way to making up for the distress and upset that my actions have caused.
"I am very ashamed and shocked that I was capable of such a destructive act.
"Whilst I don't want to use my drunken state as an excuse, I am certain that this is something I would never usually do.
"I can assure you that I will never act in such a disrespectful manner again.
"At the time I was unaware of the significance of the plaques in Castle Park. I have nothing but respect for the veterans and the sacrifices that they have made for this country."
He ended the letter by writing: "Once again I would like to offer a sincere apology for my actions and all of the hassle that has come as a result of them."
Paul Turner, secretary of the Bristol and Warmley Veteran's Group, said he was 'taken aback' by the letter's honesty and sincerity, and added the person - or people - behind it are forgiven.
He said: "I would like to chat to them to say I appreciate they have had the backbone to face up to what they have done.
"It takes a man to apologise when he has done something wrong.
"I've told the police investigating not to waste their time. If officers came back to me asking if I wish to press charges, I'd say no. They are forgiven."
Since the thief made away with the plaques, the community has come together to support its veterans' group - donating more than £1,500 ($1,850) to help replace them.
Incredibly, one brass plaque was returned to the group after being fished out of the water by a canoeist, while another was sent to the Bristol Post last week.
Let's hope they can find the other two.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS