Lake Worth girl, 8, leaves note for burglar: ‘Just be nice’


Young kids love their tablets and can spend all day playing on them.

Wendy Chay Son is no different.

The Barton Elementary School second-grader would go on YouTube to listen to music because she loves singing and dancing. She played word games because she enjoys learning. She would look at old birthday pictures of herself, because, well, kids do stuff like that. Sometimes Wendy, 8, did her homework on her tablet.

“I used it every day,” she said.

READ: Reality show in the works for Lake Worth sneaker collectors

Then one day, the tablet was gone, stolen from her modest-sized Lake Worth home on South D Street, along with two computers, a second tablet, two cellphones, clothes and jewelry in a Feb. 13 robbery.

Two piggy-banks, one red, the other green, which each contained about $180, were also taken.

“It was so sad,” Wendy said.

But, instead of being upset, Wendy did something most people don’t do after their cherished belongings have been swiped by a crook.

She wrote a note to the bandit then taped it so the side of her two-bedroom house, hoping the burglar might see it.

“We are sad that you have been steeling (sic) in this house. You are not the only one that has feelings We all do,” the letter said.

SEE ALSO: Tired, worn-down corner gets a makeover in Lake Worth

In the margins of her letter, which Wendy said took about five minutes to write, she added, “I hope you will change and be good. God will forgive you.”

Wendy said she wrote the letter hoping it could help the person who robbed her house change his or her ways.

“I want them to stop stealing,” Wendy said. “What if they hurt somebody?”

Albertina Son, Wendy’s stay-at-home mom, was surprised what her daughter did.

“I don’t really know what made her do it, but I’m very proud of her,” said Albertina, who’s nine months pregnant with her second child, a daughter who will be named Jennifer.

Albertina, 27, moved to Lake Worth last month from Delray Beach with Wendy’s father, Jose, 30, a golf course maintenance worker. Both Albertina and Jose are from Guatemala.

“This is our first house in the United States,” Albertina said, tears welling as she sits in the living room of what was once a former crack house.

Neighbors quickly stepped up to help. One donated a laptop to Wendy. An Internet-based fund raiser was started to help the family replace some of what was stripped from them.

More than $1,185 has been raised as of Monday afternoon, according to organizer Mark Parilla-Focarile.

Parilla-Focarile asked Wendy to read the letter at a candidate forum that will be hosted by the Genesis Neighborhood Association at 6 p.m., St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, 928 South E Street.

Wendy, well spoken, bright, energetic, said she wasn’t nervous before the meeting.

“I feel great,” she said.

During the forum, wearing a pink dress, stylish eyeglasses and a blue bow in her hair, Wendy read her letter without a hitch and like a seasoned speaker.

The crowd applauded as Wendy smiled sheepishly.

Parilla-Focarile calls the grade schooler a Lake Worth hero.

“She had her home violated and she’s not mad,” he said. “This letter says nothing about punishment. It’s about please stop what you’re doing and I’ll help you be a good person. Maybe that will touch some of the hearts of criminals.”

That’s what Wendy wants most of all.

“Maybe the robber will turn good,” she said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Sports & Recreation
Sports & Recreation

Registration is open for the Adult Softball Leagues at Okeeheelee Park in West Palm Beach through tomorrow. The ten-game season starts Sept. 12 with matchups on Tuesday or Friday nights. $495 team registration fee, space is limited, register online at www.pbcparks.com, or call 561-963-6722 for information. The Prime Time Senior Softball Sunday Morning...
Sports & Recreation

“Saturdays at Sanborn” is a free fitness event at Sanborn Square in Boca Raton every Saturday morning. Start the morning off with yoga, presented by Yoga Journey, at 9 a.m. Capoeira, a form of Brazilian martial arts, presented by Cia Do Axe, continues at 10:30 a.m. Ages 12 and up. Located at 72 N. Federal Highway; call 561-393-7703 for...
How to decorate with glass
How to decorate with glass

When designers look to infuse color into a space, glass isn’t typically their first choice. While glass can lend itself to multiple applications, glass is often viewed as too transparent a medium to use to add color to a space. However, if one selects the right glass pieces, glass can not only add color, but also interest and dimension to a space...
Palm Beach Central High cheerleaders earn top rating at summer camp
Palm Beach Central High cheerleaders earn top rating at summer camp

BINKS FOREST ELEMENTARY The PTA will host a Party with a Purpose at 7 p.m. Sept. 9 at Romeo’s Italian Cuisine, 13889 Wellington Trace, Wellington. Tickets are $40 ($45 after Sept. 1) and include unlimited tapas, soft drinks and $20 in casino chips. Auctions and raffles are also part of the festivities, which will raise money for laptop computers...
Home has plenty of room for the kids AND an outdoorsy collection
Home has plenty of room for the kids AND an outdoorsy collection

SEATTLE — And now, A Western folk ode to some newish Western folks: OH, GIVE ME A HOME … The first space Steven Rinella and Katie Finch shared didn’t have much space at all: an 800-square-foot apartment in Brooklyn, outfitted with “hand-me-down furniture, from stoop sales,” Finch says. Her job with Amazon blazed their...
More Stories