Tess Aboughoushe heard a woman scream during her lunch break, and ended up helping a thief with a conscience.
Aboughoushe was returning from an appointment at the chiropractor Feb. 14 in Edmonton, Canada when she saw a struggle down the street and heard a woman call out, “Stop. Thief. He took my wallet,” CBC reported.
Aboughoushe told the media outlet that, “just like in the movies” she heard a scream and saw a man start to run. She didn’t “stop to think,” she just started running after the guy.
She chased him down an alley and found the purse-snatcher hiding behind a dumpster, CTV News reported. But she didn’t expect what happened next.
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Afraid of the man’s next move, Aboughoushe was trembling, CBC said. But instead of moving to harm the woman, the man hunched over and began to sob.
“He says, ‘I can’t do this anymore. I’m so sorry. I don’t know what came over me. I’m so sorry. Please take it,’ ” Aboughoushe told CTV News. His head was clean-shaven but his face was lined and scratched, CBC said.
When the alleged victim caught up to the two, the man apologized profusely, Aboughoushe said in an Instagram post. He said “he’s never done something like this before.”
Aboughoushe snapped a photo of him before he gave the wallet back, she said.
Aboughoushe hugged the woman and then took the man out for coffee, she said. She says she sat and listened to his situation and then called the police.
“He was very regretful and contrite,” she said. “But a desperate man could do desperate things and he needs the help of the police.”
She told CTV News she filed a police report, but doesn’t expect charges to be filed.
“If you treat people like they are human, you hope they will respond in kind,” said Aboughoushe, who also acknowledged that her actions were “a little reckless.”