Man rights his wrong 20 years after stealing two baseball bats

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It was a crime that was committed over 20 years ago in Sioux Falls that went unsolved.

Three juveniles stole $500 worth of baseball bats at Dakota Sports.

Certainly not the crime of the century, but as you’re about to see the case has finally been solved and it’s a story people will be talking about for years to come.

The theft happened at Dakota Sports in 2000 when the sporting goods store was still located on 41st Street.

It has since relocated a few blocks away on Kiwanis Avenue.

Police investigated the crime, but after so much time had passed, the owners figured this case would never get solved that was until Tuesday when something very surprising happened and the owners hit a homerun.

On Tuesday morning a customer walked in and said he wanted to talk to one of the owners.

“I said I currently am, what can I help you with,” co-owner Jerry Hauff said.

The man, who didn’t want to be identified, said he had a confession to make.

“He said I have a very strange request, and proceeded to tell me he stole something from the store 20 plus years ago, which I was floored with when he said that,” Hauff said.

After all these years, the man who was a teenager at the time when he stole those two bats, wanted to right his wrong.

“He ended up giving us $500 toward the two bats he took,” Hauff said.

Hauff says the man is now in 30’s and had carried this guilt with him for over two decades.

“You know when you do something wrong it sticks with you,” Hauff said.

He said he was in a position now where he could make amends, pay for the bats he had stolen, and apologized for his crime, which Hauff says is admirable.

There’s still hope, there’s still good people in the world who are willing to do the right thing and I think that’s the underlying message, especially this time of year and what we are seeing across the world; there’s still good people out there, who want to do the right thing,” Hauff said.

Because it took a lot of courage for him to come in and pay for the bats, Hauff told him to take $250 of it back and donate it to a charity of his choice.

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