Your feelgood story of the day. Clearly they were aware of the surveillance camera, but that hasn’t stopped people before. This is nice to see.
Surveillance video from the Buddy’s Small Lots on Route 23 showed four young men entering the closed store Sunday night, taking a few goods and — wait for it — paying for them in full.
They didn’t know it at the time, but they were caught on camera doing the right thing.
A report from News 12 New Jersey about the incident spread far and wide, appearing onlocal TV stations across the U.S. The Huffington Post called them “accidental burglars,” and the store’s management wanted to offer them a reward.
Who were these mystery men? New additions to William Paterson University’s football team, school officials told NJ.com.
Thomas James, Kell’E Gallimore, Jelani Bruce and Anthony Biondi are all playing their first year of Division III football for the school, and were running some errands before practice on Sunday. They were looking for an audio cable for a set of dorm room speakers and some batteries, and didn’t have any luck at Rite Aid, so they walked into Buddy’s Small Lots.
The store was closed, but it sure didn’t look that way. Store management told News 12 that it was a malfunctioning lock that kept the doors open after the store had closed.
“It looked like it was open,” Gallimore told NJ.com. “Some lights were on, some lights were off. No one was at the cash register.”
Surveillance footage showed the men wandering around the store in search of the cable and the batteries, calling out for the store clerk they figured was just hiding out back.
“We had to get to practice, because we were running a little late,” Bruce said. “So we decided to put the money on the counter instead of stealing it, because that’s just not right.”
The owner of the store was later able to locate the young men to thank them and give them some free gifts. Hopefully the NCAA doesn’t punish them for accepting the freebies.