The owners of a restaurant who spotted a woman on surveillance video taking a $4,000 bottle of cognac from behind the bar says they will not press charges and will give her a "second chance."
But the woman won't be dining at the restaurant again.
It happened at the GrandView restaurant in San Jose last week, the San Jose Mercury News reported. The cognac was a century-old Louis XIII produced buy Rémy Martin in France, which costs about $200 per 1.5-ounce pour.
Surveillance video showed that the bar was empty when a woman in a long dress walked behind the bar, grabbed the bottle, then walked out with a man beside her.
After the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office asked for the public's help finding the woman, the owners said someone acting on her behalf returned the bottle. And it was still sealed.
Co-owner Maurice Carrubba said he wouldn't press charges, saying that people make mistakes.
"And with everything going on in the world — we’ve got war, we’ve got COVID, with everything everyone’s been going through — given that she’s a mother of six who made a bad decision, we decided to give her a second chance," Carrubba told the Mercury News.
Carrubba said he realizes he might be criticized for his act of forgiveness.
“What am I going to do, put a mother of six in jail?" he asked, indicating the theft may have been meant as a joke or was done on a dare. "I’m just happy they decided to do the right thing."
The woman could have been charged with felony grand theft, the Mercury News reported.