The unidentified family was out early last Thursday evening while someone cut through a door screen to enter their house in Guelph, Ontario, northwest of Toronto.
No one noticed the screen damage or missing Xbox and digital camera, CTV News reported.
The next morning, a plastic bag was left on the front porch containing the electronics, and a computer-printed letter of apology and $50 to repair the screen.
"It was nothing personal and I didn't go through any of your personal belongings," the letter said. "I have been having a very hard time financially lately and I made the worst mistake of my life."
The writer said he or she was also committing to 15 hours of community service to "partially help atone" for the break-in.
Regardless of the thief's remorse, the incident is still being investigated by police, Sgt. Doug Pflug said.
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