After a thief stole a priceless painting from a local Navy veteran’s front porch two weeks ago, he appears to have had a change of heart.
Earl Faubion woke up Tuesday morning to find the painting outside his home, complete with an apology note.
After News 9 aired the video of a man in a red car brazenly taking a package from Faubion's home, he was quickly identified by police. For now, though, he will remain a free man on Faubion's good graces.
The Vietnam-era Navy veteran credits the USS Fletcher for turning him into a man. He was devastated when a thief snatched a one-of-a-kind painting of the ship from his doorstep before he could even answer the delivery man's ring.
Two weeks later, something unexpected happened.
“I backed out of the garage and looked down and there was the painting,” Faubion said.
Without its packaging but in good condition, the old painting, which had been passed down from a late World War II Veteran, had returned to its rightful home.
“I figured this thing went to a dumpster somewhere and was long gone,” Faubion said.
In disbelief, Faubion also found an apology letter. It read, in part, “here’s your painting. Please don’t press charges. My buddy who took your painting was young and didn’t know what he was doing. He says he sincerely apologizes and wants to better his life.” The note went on to say, “He also respects you and what you were fighting for our country, and again I am sorry, he says, for stealing your painting. Please forgive him.”
Faubion does not know who wrote the letter, but he hopes the words are sincere. That is why he and his wife have decided not to press charges, for now.
“She kind of convinced me it was the right thing to do,” Faubion said. “Given the fact that even though he stole the painting, he did do the right thing by giving it back.”
Faubion is putting the suspect on notice, however, to change his ways.
“We know who he is,” he said. “I’m not going to say his name, but we know who he is, and he should take this as a lesson in life, and if he can learn from this then he’s going to come out ahead.”
Faubion will be on alert for future reports about the man who stole his painting, and his message to other porch pirates is to think twice before you swipe.