NEVADA COUNTY (CBS13) —For the second time in a year, a thief has come forward to repay some of what he stole from school children at a Nevada County school.

Here in the kitchen at Grizzly Hill Elementary, they cook local, organic food for students. That organic thief is what someone came to steal.

Principal James Berardi struggles for a second to open the heavy door to the storage container where three months ago, someone broke in and stole about $1,000 worth of food for lunchtime meals.

Pictures of the suspect’s truck were out all over town, and this week a young man came to the school with $100 to give the principal, with plans to give more.

The man left, then Berardi notified the police. The whole incident surprised the principal.

“I was blown away, but I was inspired by somebody wanting to pay back,” he said.

Especially since this is the second time this school year something like this has happened at the school.

In October, a letter showed up with cash and a confession from a former student who stole money when he was a young boy 20 years ago.

Bridget Gabriel lives near the school, and says she’s glad the school got some money back.

“I’m glad that they at least had the human nature of guilt to do the right thing in the end at least,” she said.

And while the cash is a good start, Berardi says it likely won’t be enough for the guilt-ridden beef thief.

“I said, ‘Because you’re doing this, doesn’t mean you’re off scot-free from any police action,’” he said.

Berardi says they’ve added extra security measures here at the school, including stronger locks to make sure the organic beef stays in the kitchen.


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