A guilty conscience got the better of someone who stole two rings years ago when they were a teenager.
Tauranga police intelligence officer Sergeant Carolyn Crawford-Smith said police received a letter from the person who stole the rings from the Goddards Centre in central Tauranga when he or she was 14 years old but now felt remorseful and hoped police could return them to their owner.
''I am now much older and know this was an awful thing to do. I should have handed them in a long time ago,'' the letter said.
''I am handing them into you with the hope that they will find their rightful owners. I am very sorry for any inconvenience caused.''
Ms Crawford-Smith said police did not know when the rings had been stolen. Tauranga Sergeant Cam Anderson said people confessing to crimes was not a weekly occurrence at the police station, but it did happen.
He had worked on a case in which a man confessed to a homicide 20 years after committing the crime. Police did not know the victim had died, nor had he been reported missing.
''Some people have found religion... some people are affected by nightmares and they can't cope with it so they need to clear the air and make things right,'' he said.
''People have epiphanies to come in and clear the air and get things off their conscience.''
If anyone recognises the ring ( pictured) and is able to identify the second one, call Tauranga police on (07) 577 4300.