‘He robbed the right person’: Theft victim forgives 12-year-old suspect, offers helping hand

WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE/CNN) - A Kansas man offered redemption to a 12-year-old boy who he says broke into his car, saying the boy’s future is more important than the items that were taken.

AJ Bohannon could have called the police after he had $2,000 worth of items stolen from his car. Video from a dash camera showed a 12-year-old boy and his friend break in and take off with the valuables and cash.

Instead, Bohannon tracked the boy down and showed him grace, pleading with him to turn his life around and offering a helping hand to do so.

“I ain’t trying to get you locked up. I ain’t trying to get you in no trouble. I just want to get you on the straight and narrow path because breaking into people’s car at 3 in the morning, that’s not the move,” said Bohannon to the boy in video footage.

Bohannon believes the 12-year-old’s life is worth far more than anything that was taken.

“It’s things that just have small monetary value. Every day I possess those items, the value diminishes. Every day he’s on this earth, his value increases, so that’s what I’m more worried about,” he said.

Having been in the 12-year-old’s shoes when he was younger, Bohannon has made it his life’s mission to never give up on kids.

“He robbed the right person because with him doing what he did to me, it gave me an opportunity to really reach out to him and pour back into his life. So, it’s an unfortunate situation we had to meet on those terms, but I think it was a blessing in disguise that we did cross paths because now I’ll be forever attached to that kid,” he said.

The two now have the opportunity to form a bond on the football field. The boy was due to join Bohannon’s team Monday.

Copyright 2020 KAKE, AJ Bohannon via CNN. All rights reserved.