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Man Returns Car He Stole from Brazilian Priest

He later sent an apology note, blaming drugs for his crimes.

GOIANIA, Brazil — A man in Brazil says he is “not a bad person” after stealing a priest’s car at gunpoint.

He later sent an apology note, claiming he was “very high” at the time.

Clues in the note from Joao Marcos Landmann were enough for police to track him down and arrest him for stealing the car and two mobile phones from the unnamed evangelical pastor outside his church.

The theft, which occurred on Nov. 15, followed a service in the Brazilian city of Goiania. The suspect was arrested on Dec. 16, while driving a stolen motorbike.

Landmann decided to repent — and he hit local headlines after writing a lengthy apology to the pastor.

“I beg you to forgive me for what I did. I’m very sorry and hurt. I’m not a bad person, but I was very high,” he wrote.

The letter writen by Joao Marcos Landmann, with an apology. (Photo by @policiacivil_go/Newsflash)

According to police, a woman called the pastor to tell him she had found one of his phones and arranged a meeting to return it.  When they met, the unnamed woman revealed she was the suspect’s wife and handed over Landmann’s handwritten letter, in which he revealed where he had left the car. In the letter, he said he used to go to church but was led astray by alcohol and drugs.

On the day of the crime, Landmann was wearing an ankle tag as a result of an armed robbery he was connected to in June 2019. But he managed to deactivate it, according to reports.

The letter ended: “Who knows, maybe you’ll become my pastor one day. Thank you.”

If convicted, Landmann could face up to 10 years in prison.

(Edited by Fern Siegel and Judith Isacoff)