By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A former Angeleno faced with the dismay of his young grandsons sent back a pair of handcuffs he stole from an LAPD officer 60 years ago.

The LAPD tweeted an image of a pair of handcuffs and a letter sent to its West Valley station last month from an unidentified 74-year-old Vista man who said he had once lived in Van Nuys. The man wrote that was Bob’s Big Boy on Sherman Way when an altercation between an LAPD officer and “a young ruffian” sent the officer’s handcuffs spinning toward his feet, so he picked up the cuffs and kept them.

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“I have felt a little guilty each time I saw the hand cuffs over the years, but did nothing about it,” he wrote. But it was the reaction from his young grandsons to the story of how he came to possess them that moved him to do the right thing.

“They were playing with some plastic handcuffs and I brought out the real ones to impress them. They thought the cuffs were cool and asked me where I got them and I started telling them the story,” he wrote. But he says their fascination turned to dismay as they learned what happened.

“They were aghast and asked me why I stole the handcuffs from a policeman. I, of course, had no good explanation and told them it was the wrong thing to do and I wasn’t proud of it and then I danced around the subject,” the man said.

The man said he has since apologized to his daughter and son-in-law, who in turn told him that they discussed it with his grandsons and reassured him that he was forgiven. But because he couldn’t stop thinking of what he had done, he decided to return the handcuffs with the confession and apology.

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“I am sincerely sorry,” the man wrote. He also included a $100 donation to the department.