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.

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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.

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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.



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