When Deputy Josh Bowden woke up one Monday morning to find his bike missing, he didn’t know what to make of it. Then a few days later, it reappeared on his property.
Deputy Josh Bowden wasn’t mad it was stolen, but he wasn’t happy when he got it back either. He was concerned.
That’s because the thief was a teenage girl frantically trying to get home at 2:00 am, according to a letter she had left the officer signed “M.”
Bowden told Inside Edition, “It concerned me and made me sad that she was put in that situation.”
Attached to his stolen bike was a letter of apology from the thief, a 19-year-old girl, who said she took the bike “because of drunk boys” and had no way of getting home the night of the Super Bowl. She said she rode 16 miles to get home that night.
In the letter, the unidentified teenage girl says she “saw the sheriff car and hoped you would understand.” The Deputy and father of another teenage girl did understand, and he wrote a letter to “M” in response and posted it on Facebook, in hopes that she might read it.
In the open letter, Bowden expressed his heartfelt thoughts and offered the teen some solid advice as a father and a police officer.
“Although I am not mad at you for taking my bike with flat tires to make yourself a little safer, I would much rather you have knocked on my door and asked me for help,” he said.
The officer also suggested the teen get new friends, not “‘boys’ who have no concern for your well being.”
He also strongly urged that she not put herself in these precarious situations. However, if she was going out to party, make sure she had “plenty of people to come get you should something go wrong,” learn how to protect herself and carry something on her person with which to do so, and have a back up plan.
“Should that fail, please bypass my bicycle and come knock on my door. That is all. God bless,” he wrote in the Facebook post.
Deputy Bowden said he would be “mortified” if his daughter did what “M” did, and he responded publicly in hopes his message will not only reach the girl, but offer advice to any other teenager out there in a similar situation.
“I don’t know if you will ever see this, but I put it on facebook in the hopes that maybe you would. I’m sure you have a family that loves you very much and people who value your existence.”
The officer’s kindness touched the hearts of thousands across Facebook, and his post went viral.
Many parents resonated with the officer’s message.
Some said it rekindled the goodness in their hearts.
Watch the interview below: