Letter From Thief Takes Family By Surprise, The Riphagens couldn’t believe what a “dumb kid” had returned – 15 years after the crime. Thief Writes Apology Letter, Returns Stolen Gold Rings 15 Years Later, The old saying, “Better late than never,” rang particularly true for the Riphagen family of suburban Chicago.
The Riphagens had four gold rings returned to them, along with an anonymous letter of apology, 15 years after they had been stolen.
Margot Riphagen, 31, who now lives in Portland, Ore., recalls exactly when the rings were stolen. She was only 16 years old when she had a party that got a bit out of hand. A few items were stolen, most notably those four rings.
“It was a long time ago and it was a pretty bad situation,” Riphagen told ABCNews.com. “I invited a few friends over and then all of a sudden there were all these people there I didn’t know. We immediately noticed stuff was missing. My parents actually turned me in to the police. They always understood this wasn’t my fault, but we had never recovered those rings and I still have no idea who it was.”
The anonymous note, signed by a sincerely regretful “dumb kid who wants to right a wrong,” was sent to Riphagen’s mother at her place of work. The family was astonished to have the rings returned, and Margot said she doesn’t even care who stole them. The only thing that matters now is that they’re back.
“We don’t care who it was. I was stupid when I was 16 and I’m sure they were too. Somebody did it for the thrill of it, not for money,” Riphagen said.
For this surprised family, the four rings had more sentimental value than anything else.