Former Waitress Returned Money 20 Years After Stealing It

"It's been 20 years, but I still carry great remorse"
Natalie Krawczyk August 14, 2018

At some point in our lives we do something against our better judgement. For the majority of us, we live and learn, but for one former employee of a Mexican restaurant in Tucson, Arizona, forgetting her past transgression was almost an impossible task.

“It’s been 20 years, but I still carry great remorse,” an anonymous letter that had been sent to El Charro Café read.

(Screenshot via KVOA)

In July 2018, Carlotta Flores, owner and chef at El Charro Café, and her family received a handwritten letter from one of their former employees.

“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,'” Flores told KVOA.

In the letter the woman stated that she had worked at the restaurant “very briefly” in the 1990s while she was a student at the University of Arizona, and during her time as a waitress she did something she wasn’t proud of.

“One of the waiters I worked with had encouraged me to ‘forget’ to ring in a few drinks a shift and pocket the cash,” the letter read. “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.”

You don’t always have to tell someone who you are to make things right for you both. This made our week! #honestyisthebestpolicy #makeamends #behonest #nevertoolate #thankful

Posted by Ray Flores on Saturday, July 28, 2018

As if receiving the handwritten apology wasn’t surprising enough, inside the envelope was $1,000 to compensate for the money the former waitress stole decades ago.

The gesture helped restore Flores’ faith in humanity—her purse had recently been stolen.

(Screenshot via KVOA)

Ray Flores, Carlotta’s son, shared a photo of the note on Facebook. Many people praised the anonymous waitress for returning the money, plus 20 years of interest.

While the unnamed former employee receives praise online, Carlotta hopes that somehow she was aware of all the compliments she was receiving.

“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,” the restaurant owner said.

According to KVOA, the family plans to use the money to pay it forward.