Former Wichita firefighter forgives his thief

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

John Crippen is a former Wichita firefighter who now spends a lot of his time and energy at St. Jude's Catholic school in North Wichita.  

He spends a lot of time in these hallways a different picture of retirement than he had imagined.

"They were in need of somebody and at the time I was retiring from the fire department and it worked out real well," says Crippen.

August 12th started out like any other Monday morning for Crippen, getting St. Jude's elementary school ready for the kids coming in.

But that day, he left empty handed. His wallet, prescription glasses and keys...gone.

"I came back up to the school and got to looking,...well they weren't there, they weren't in the car, they weren't home. We finally found out somebody must have taken them," says Crippen.

By the time Crippen cancelled his debit card, the thief had already spent hundreds of dollars at Walmart.

A giver in every way, Crippen hopes the thief needed these items worse than he did.

"If somebody came up and needed something I'd sure get it for them. They don't have to rob me for it."

He attributes his perspective to his days spent fighting fires.

"The thing about being a firefighter was its almost like a hero concept. You're there because somebody needs you and somebody needs your help."

Crippen wants to emphasize there are resources out there for those in need.

"There's a lot of people and places out here to help you. You don't need to rob or steal or hurt somebody to get it. This day and age there's help for everybody. That's what we do here at St. Jude," says Crippen.
 

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