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Louisiana coffee shop owner posts open letter to burglar

By Daniel Uria

Dear Person Who Broke In This Weekend: We hope that you really needed what you stole from us. We hope that your child...

Posted by Campbell's Coffee & Tea on Monday, November 30, 2015
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COVINGTON, La., Dec. 4 (UPI) -- A small business owner in Louisiana took to the internet to send an emotional message to a burglar who broke into her coffee shop.

Elizabeth Van Sant, co-owner of Campbell's Coffee & Tea in Covington, posted the open letter on the company's Facebook page. The letter is addressed "Dear Person Who Broke In This Weekend" and explains the impact of the burglar's actions.

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"We hope that you really needed what you stole from us. We hope that your child got extra special food to eat, that your water bill was paid and service restored, even that your dog got a special treat. We hope that you donated to one of our favorite local causes," she wrote. "The money that we earn through our honest living goes to these things."

She went on to express optimism following the theft, writing, "We will rally with forgiveness and not respond with anger."

"You can let them defeat you or get on with it," Van Sant told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "My reaction is always to get on with it. It was not to lecture anyone."

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The burglar stole $300 after breaking into the shop, which Van Sant owns with Campbell Morrison, by crawling through a hole made when they moved a window air conditioning unit.

When Van Sant noticed the theft on Monday, she went and wrote the post on Facebook about the incident. She has since received overwhelming support.

"It struck a chord with people," she said. "The Covington community went crazy."

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