‘Remorseful’ thief returns money taken from Penticton cannabis shop

Cannabis Cottage on 385 Martin Street, became the third cannabis dispensary to open in Penticton in August 2019. (Black Press file)

A woman who was recently caught on camera stealing employees’ tips from a Penticton cannabis shop had a change of heart in the days following her crime.

A week after walking out the doors of Cannabis Cottage in downtown Penticton with a cash-filled tip jar, the woman expressed remorse and on Jan. 11, returned the money.

But the cash wasn’t returned to the scene of the crime.

Instead, after a public confrontation between the woman in question and a different local business owner, an envelope filled with $20 was delivered to the Valley Hemp gift shop on Skaha Lake Road, as a gesture of sorrow to Cannabis Cottage.

Amanda Stewart, the owner of Valley Hemp, had recognized the woman walking on Nanaimo Avenue in downtown Penticton earlier this week. She parked her vehicle, stepped outside and confronted the woman about the video she had seen on the Penticton Western News just five days earlier.

“A couple of days before stealing the tip jar from Cannabis Cottage, she had walked into my store asking for spare change to do some laundry,” said Stewart, who later provided the soon-to-be thief with $4. “When I recognized her on the street a few days after watching the video, the blood rushed straight to my head and I started yelling at her about ripping off my friends.

“I told her ‘you have to stop stealing.’”

The woman paid Stewart a visit at Valley Hemp less than 48 hours later, dropping off the money she stole while apologizing for her previous actions.

“She was very remorseful, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Stewart said.

Mariana Wolff, the owner of Cannabis Cottage, initially shared footage via Facebook on Jan. 3, following the “irritating” incident. Initially, she estimated that more than $100 was inside the tip jar when it was stolen.

The employee who was behind Cannabis Cottage’s counter when the woman took the tips, Jaimie Miller-Haywood, would later suggest that only about $20 was inside the jar.

The incident was not reported to the RCMP.

“It’s such a petty theft and (the police) already have so many that they already deal with,” Wolff told the Western News at the time.

Upon dropping off the money, the woman told Stewart, “I’m sorry for stealing from your friends, here’s the $20 and please give it back to them.”

It’s a moment Stewart will never forget.

“There’s something to be said about second and third chances,” she said.

Find the latest must-read stories from the cannabis world at canadianevergreen.com, your go-to source for news, trends, products and lifestyle inspiration from the cannabis community and beyond. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter.