Good Parenting Gets the Credit it Deserves

The mother of a man who tried to break into an Ohio store is getting the credit she deserves after making her son apologize for the crime and pay for the damages.

Fox News is reporting on the incident which occurred last week when the owner of Aaron Sign Shop in Garfield Heights, Ohio, came to work and found the door of his shop damaged after someone tried to kick in the door. Security footage taken early on the morning of December 3 showed a suspect trying to break in but ultimately failing to do so. The attempt amounted to $600 in damages.

“He took my advertising that I had on the window off by kicking the door, so I really wanted to put this guy firsthand and let everybody see what he had done, hoping to embarrass him and maybe come forward and admit what he did,” said the store owner, Jim Grenig.

In addition to calling the police, Grenig decided to post a large wanted sign on his front door with shots from the security footage. He also posted video of the incident on social media with the hopes of finding the perpetrator.

A week later, he received a phone call from a woman who said her son admitted to the crime. He said, “’Mom, I did something wrong. I’m on the news. I’m afraid to even go to work’,” the woman recounted to Grenig.

The woman, who remains unidentified, then brought her son to the shop to apologize in person and explain what happened that night.

“The young man was here in Garfield Heights at a bar Friday night where he got jumped and pistol whipped, had a little alcohol, he was discombobulated, he was hurt, wasn’t thinking right, came over, kicked the door,” Grenig recounted to Fox 8.

In addition to demanding that her son take responsibility for his actions, his mother also made him sign a contract stipulating that he will pay for the damages he caused in monthly installments to be paid in full by March. In exchange, Grenig agreed to take down the wanted poster from his front door.

He later admitted that his heart was touched by the mother’s actions. “Oh, a lot of respect for this mom. You could tell that [s]he loves her child, she’s concerned about him,” he said.

But Grenig also learned a valuable lesson from the incident and said the young man’s story and act of contrition made him think twice about the way he reacted to the crime.

“I was mad. I wanted ill will, I wanted harm, I wanted retribution, I wanted this and that. You know, for all the people that I’ve known in my life before that gave me breaks, I gave this kid a break,” he said.

As Fox 8 reporter Jack Shea wrote, “What started as a story about anger over a crime is teaching all of us about the power of redemption and good parenting.”

Even Garfield Heights mayor Matt Burke was impressed. “For this parent to do what she did, that is incredible. That is an incredible way to parent and it should be set as an example of what other parents could do as well.”

Grenig agrees. “This mom took the bull by the horns and made it happen. She brought her son to me,” he said.

And in the process, she taught them both a lesson they’ll not soon forget.

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