Thief who stole little girl’s Christmas decorations returns with apology note

After her family’s light-up Christmas reindeer lawn decorations were stolen last week, 9-year-old Australian girl Chiara Velardi went on the local news in Sydney and poured her heart out, saying the decorations brought “joy to the world” and that the thieves “shouldn’t do that anymore and you should say sorry to my dad, my mom, and me.”

Now, one of the men who took the reindeer has written her a note to apologize. Apparently, he was drunk at the time, but he promised he would never do such a thing again.

Home security footage showed the thieves emerging from a car, rushing to the reindeer, swiping them, and accidently breaking one’s neck as they made their getaway. 

Velardi’s father, Roy Velardi, told 7 News Sydney that friends of the reindeer stealer knocked on his door late Saturday night to give him the apology note and the two 50 Australian dollar bills (which equates to about $75 in U.S. currency). He said he thought they came forward because of the initial news story, but he also said they were genuinely sorry.

“I accepted the apology, I’m not going to take it any further,” Roy Velardi said. “They apologized to my daughter too.”

But he also said that the family won’t leave their remaining decorations outside overnight anymore. Said Roy Velardi, “You’ve got to be wary now that someone else is going to come along and do the same thing.”

Josh Katzowitz

Josh Katzowitz

Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.