Would-be thief gets lesson in kindness from Racine business owner

NOW: Would-be thief gets lesson in kindness from Racine business owner


RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A Racine business owner chased after a would-be thief but instead of turning him into authorities, the owner gave him a second chance and a job.

Last Saturday, Deontrae Mayfield was hard at work restoring old furniture in his warehouse.

"I heard footsteps because I have gravel payment in the back. I heard footsteps but I didn't see anyone so I looked in the mirror and I saw someone crunched down. I thought it was a grown man with dread locks," said business owner Deontrae Mayfield.

But it wasn't a grown man, it was a kid.

"He just bolted straight down the alley," Mayfield said.

Mayfield chased after him for five blocks.

 "I asked what he was doing, he said they weren't doing anything but I knew what they were doing."

Mayfield lectured him, told him not to steal, but gave him an invitation to come back and work.

"Sure enough, he came back by himself," Mayfield said. 

The kid came back about four days later and picked up trash around Mayfield's warehouse.

"With that $10 gesture for five minutes worth of work, he turned around and became a lifelong friend. I'm going to stay on him, I'm going to stay in his life."

Mayfield is hoping to reach out to other inner-city kids and give them the tools to succeed.

"For $10 for five minutes of work, he will be back and when he comes back, I'll give him another lesson. That's how we spread the love."

Mayfield says he wants this story to motivate other people to do the same. In the next few months, he hopes to turn his warehouse into a place where inner-city kids can come and learn.

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