Tess Aboughoushe was just leaving a chiropractor’s appointment last Wednesday when she suddenly found herself in the middle of what felt like a scene from a movie.

Aboughoushe had been returning to her office in downtown Edmonton when she heard a woman down the street yell that a man had stolen her wallet.

Sure enough, a man started running away from the scene of the crime – but not before Aboughoushe could take off after him.

After chasing him for two blocks, Aboughoushe rounded the corner into an alleyway and found that the burglar had stopped running and had started to cry instead.

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“He came out from behind the dumpster and says, in a conciliatory way, ‘Here is the wallet, I can’t do this anymore, I’m sorry, just take it, take it,’” she told CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM.

“So I took the wallet, and the woman caught up soon after. I gave it back to her and he stayed there, apologizing a lot.”

Recognizing that the man was distressed, Aboughoushe took him to a café down the street and bought him a large black coffee.

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The man explained that he had come to the city with his friend from Calgary, but they had ditched him in Edmonton without any money.

Aboughoushe did her best to console the man before showing him how to get to the public library where he could seek help from the social workers on staff. She says that she hopes that the man gets the help that he needs, and she has no regrets over her actions from that day.

“You kill more flies with honey than you do with vinegar,” she said. “I wanted to show him some compassion.”

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