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Victim takes car burglars door-to-door to apologize

UPI News Service, 07/09/2013 

A Seattle woman who discovered a cellphone in her ransacked car said she decided to talk to the owner and his parents instead of contacting police.

Eliza Webb, 29, said her car was ransacked last month, but she decided not to call police after she discovered a cellphone in the car that she suspected might belong to a teenager, The Seattle Times reported Tuesday.

Webb said she works with high school students and learned from her husband's experiences that youthful indiscretions can have devastating long-term consequences.

"I think bringing the police and courts into something like this can have long-term, devastating consequences for kids," Webb said. "I wanted to meet him, talk to his parents and see if there might be another way. I felt that if I could get him to own up to what he'd done and understand there were consequences, it could be a much better outcome."

Webb spoke with the 19-year-old owner of the phone and his parents and ended up taking the youth and his accomplice door-to-door around her neighborhood to apologize for ransacking 13 unlocked cars and return stolen items.

"I'm actually kind of glad it happened," the 19-year-old said. "It felt terrible to hear that people are worried and feel like they have to lock the door because of what I did. In a funny way, I feel closer to my neighbors and kind of look forward to seeing them around in different circumstances."

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