My name is Emma Svanvik. I have written this letter in the hope of mending the harm done through a grievous error in judgement on my part. On August 25, 2010, I made the biggest mistake of my life. I went into Timberland Sports in Port McNeill and shoplifted a pair of running shoes, and the reason that I am writing this letter is that I am truly sorry and also, I hope that this letter will let others, who are thinking of shoplifting, know it is the wrong choice.
When I took the runners, I didnʼt think about what I was doing to the owners of the store. This is a family run business and this is how they make their living. So when the store owner accosted me and talked about how much money he loses from people stealing from him, it made me feel awful; I realized I was stealing from his family and taking food from his table. I canʼt even imagine how much money he loses in a year, but I am sure it is a lot. So, Mr. and Mrs. Beech, I am very sorry for the harm I have caused you.
This has also had a very negative affect on my life and I am, or was, a learning assistant in a school for the past 30 years. Because of my actions, I am no longer working there. I have no idea if I will ever be able to work there again or how I will be paying my bills and take care of myself.
It is not to judge or preach to people who do this, I thought that if I shared my story, it would help people to think about the consequences of this totally inappropriate choice.
Being arrested, handcuffed and detained in a cell are the most humiliating and degrading things to ever happen to me. It affected my health. I lost sleep worrying about what was going to happen to me; was I going to jail and what would people think of me. The embarrassment that I have caused my family, and the worry that I have put them through.
I have through this unfortunate event realized that it is important for me to be responsible and accountable for my actions; therefore, I felt the need to speak the truth. It is important to me to apologize to my community, the families of the children that I worked with and my work colleagues. It not only had a negative affect on my life and the store ownerʼs, but also many other peopleʼs and I understand that I can not heal or change until I take ownership of my actions.
I apologize and I’d like to make amends.
I recommit to healing and making changes in my life and hope that in some way this will help the owner of the store and to make those of you who are still stealing, think about what you could lose if caught and the harm that it causes store owners.