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Man pays $22 donut tab -- 25 years later

January 18, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
A donut shop in Santa Ana got an unexpected surprise this week -- they finally got paid for a 25-year-old tab.Gustavo Barcenas, the owner of the The Mill Bakery, sells hundreds of pastries a day at his shop in Santa Ana. But it was 40 or so of his donuts that stuck in the mind of a man Barcenas has never met.

Forty pastries a man named Lee Schlosser says he's finally paying for after more than 25 years.

"I'm surprised. I'm shocked," said Bracenas.

Barcenas received a check in the mail for $22, along with a note. Schlosser says he used to work at hardware store near the bakery and took the donuts, thinking his company had paid for them. His note asks the owner of The Mill Bakery to please accept the money for the loss.

"I got surprised. He's very honest. He should be honest person," said Barcenas.

The act causes people to speculate -- why now, after more than two decades?

"He wants to do everything right. Maybe he didn't do it right before," speculated Barcenas's wife Glafira.

"Maybe his conscience got to him, and he felt bad and he wants to pay back," speculated customer Ana Gallardo.

"There's always a chance for people to improve themselves, so maybe this was one of his acts that made him a better person," said customer Nancy Gallardo.

Barncenas would like to frame the check, along with the letter, to display in the bakery to serve as a daily reminder.

"There are good people out there, and this is one of them," said customer Wil Cipriano.


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