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Young man apologizes to Racine thrift shop after he tries to vandalize it

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RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- It's not something you hear everyday: The director of a Racine thrift store said an attempted vandalism ended in a young man actually apologizing for his would-be crime.

David Fricke, CEO and director of Fosters reStore, wants people to know that his shop is "not your typical thrift store."

"As we say, 'It’s not your grandmother's thrift store, but your grandmother does shop here," Fricke said.

He can't help but smile as he talks about his thrift store, which started out two years ago as a passion project. Fricke, who was adopted, created a store that is open to the public where foster children can get an allowance to get clothes and other items for free.

"I just cannot believe that a year and a half ago we were a 1,800 square feet, small, tiny store in Kenosha. Now, we’re a 24,000 square foot building," Fricke said.

But on Monday, he said someone attempted to damage his store’s property out back. His store's surveillance video caught a young man rummaging around in his store’s van and then attempting to break the van's window. He posted about the experience on social media and within just a few hours, his thrift shop got an unexpected visit from the attempted vandal himself.

"He came in with his grandmother," Fricke said. "And I just went up, and I’m just like, 'Yes, can I help?' And he’s like, 'I was the one who broke into your van.'"

Fricke said he won’t press charges, and he’s sharing the experience in hopes of trying to steer the young man on the right path.

"He truly felt sorry for what he did, especially once he found out what we do and who we are," he said.

Fosters reStore is 99 percent donations, and Fricke is hoping to expand and open a second store in Oak Creek.

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