Unidentified man apologizes to Bedford small business owner for taking model train, hands over $400

The man slipped a Lionel Train engine out of Al’s Trains and Hobby in Bedford, just after the stores owner had rung up his large order.

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BEDFORD, Ohio (WOIO) - Al Fenton from Al’s Trains and Hobby got an envelope in his mailbox with this morning with no address. Inside was an apology note and $400 in cash.

Man caught on surveillance video stealing train tells owner he took it by mistake and left $400

The note came from a customer who previously took a $300 Lionel Train and placed it into a bag of items he already paid for.

“People are weird sometimes,” he said.

The note read as follows:

Al, I mistakenly grabbed a box with the Norfold Southern train in it. Here’s $400 for it. Call you later
-Unidentified shopper

Fenton later received a phone call from the anonymous man through an untraceable number. The store owner said our previous 19 News report motivated the apology.

“I think through 19 News and Facebook he saw something and he knew he better correct it or he’s in trouble,” he explained.

While Fenton is still skeptical of the intent behind the apology, he is glad he got his money’s worth for such an expensive product.

“A $300 item like that is a couple of days in sales in the summer time when it’s slower around here,” he said.

Thanks to the first story, Fenton has received support from friends and family online, as well as a chance to get more trains into his shop.

“I got a call this morning from a lady out in Eastlake,” he said. “Her husband and her were cleaning out their attic and they had a bunch of Lionel trains they just wanted to give away and if I wanted them I could have them.”

“There are a lot of generous people out there,” he added.

On Wednesday, Fenton told 19 News the men were in the shop on Tuesday morning, and one of the men purchased $600 worth of trains and accessories.

The same two men were in the store on Wednesday morning and the man who bought the trains spent another $500 on accessories and the other man spent $400 on slot cars.

But while the man who bought the slot cars was checking out, the other man slipped a box containing a $300 Lionel Train into the box of merchandise he had actually paid for.

Fenton did not realize this happened until later in the day when he went to look for the missing train, and subsequently checked the surveillance cameras, seeing for himself what had happened.

“He did it so subtly you wouldn’t even think about it,” Fenton said, “For someone who spent that kind of money in a two-day period, it just boggles the mind. I am upset, I am disappointed more than anything else.”

The unknown customer has yet to be fully identified.

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