A Virginia deputy is publicly responding to the young woman who stole his bike — not out of anger, but out of sympathy and concern.
Pulaski County Sheriff Deputy Josh Bowden, who has been in law enforcement for 14 years, posted a touching message on Facebook Sunday after an anonymous young woman, who identified herself as 19-year-old "M," returned the bike along with a note explaining she had taken the bike early on February 6 to get home safely.
"I’m not going to call it stealing, because she did return it," Bowden told InsideEdition.com. "She just borrowed it because she was in need. But she did return it, so I’m not mad about that."
“M”, who quietly brought the bike back to his home, explained in the letter she had noticed Bowden’s sheriff’s patrol car in the driveway before she took the bike at 2 a.m. following the Super Bowl, and hoped he would be sympathetic to her plight.
She explained she had a 16-mile journey home, and was stranded “because of drunk boys, a dead phone and no money […] I am genuinely sorry and hope you can forgive me for returning it so late and taking it with your permission.”
“It concerned me, made me sad that she was put in that situation,” Bowden said. “It had to be scary for her. As a father — I have two small children — a little girl not much younger than her. It just really scared me for her, and made me concerned for her safety.”
He explained in his public response that he must have been asleep by then, but had she knocked on his door, he would have been more than happy to give her a ride home.
Bowden said he hadn’t even noticed the 15-year-old bike, gifted by his father, was missing until it was returned.
He then posted the letter on Facebook, hoping she might see his reply.
“I’m still waiting for a response,” he told InsideEdition.com. “If nothing else, I hope that people see the letter and maybe it can help somebody along the line. Maybe she or somebody else could read the letter and maybe think [that] their options might be better next time.”