Guelph, Ont. police are looking for a remorseful thief who tried to atone for breaking into a local home with a letter of apology and gift of cash to pay for a damaged door.

Several items were stolen from the home last Thursday evening, including an Xbox and a digital camera worth more than $1,000.

The next morning, a plastic bag containing the stolen items was left on the front porch, Guelph police told CTV Kitchener.

Along with the items was a letter titled “apology” and $50 to pay for damage caused to the screen door during the break-in.

The letter reads: “Dear Family I have wronged. I’m the one who committed the serious crimes against your family and I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart.

“It was nothing personal and I didn’t go through any of your personal belongings. I have been having a very hard time financially lately and I made the worst mistake of my life.

“I would also commit to at least 15 hours of community service to partially help atone for what I have done.”

Guelph Police Sgt. Doug Pflug said the situation was heartening.

“Just when you lose your faith in humanity,” he said.

“Instead of ditching the property in the garbage can, or what have you, they returned it.”

Cathy Bugyei, a Guelph resident, said she could understand the suspect’s motivation for returning the stolen property: “A lot of guilt and probably empathy. You wouldn’t want somebody to do that to you,” she said.

The apology doesn’t change the fact that a crime has been committed, police said, and investigators are looking for the suspect.

With a report from CTV Kitchener’s Frank Lynn