RED BANK — A thief had "shoplifter's remorse" and returned game he or she stole from Yestercades with a note of apology ... and a twinge of guilt.

Ken Kalada has owned the arcade Yestercades in Red Bank for the past six years and puts out his stock of video game cartridges for customers to handle instead of keeping them locked up, because doing so brings back a sense of nostalgia for them.

"I could count on one hand the number of times this has happened," Kalada said.

After reviewing his security view from the night a couple of games went missing, he confirmed his hunch about who stole them. "The guy that stole the games had a free gamer card" which entitled him to two free hours of game playing, Kalada said.

Kalada said the two shoplifted games were worth a total of about $100. He reported the theft to police, but did not expect to see them again.

He posted word of the theft on the Middletown, New Jersey Facebook group. He hoped the thief would learn Kalada knew about the theft.

"We have gotten negative feedback from the public asking 'oh how could you do that' but what people  need to understand is that social media isn't just for taking pictures of your dinner and posting it on Instagram. There's a bigger value to it," Kalada said.

A package was waiting for him when he went to the store on Sunday, after spending most of the weekend at his second location in Somerville.

"It was ignorant and dumb of me and something I have been regretting since I realized I made the stupid choice," the thief wrote in a note, accompanying the games. He said he was a regular at the arcade ,and had been drinking the day he took the games.

"I am very embarrassed and feel ashamed to do what I have done and hope that you can maybe one day choose to forgive me," the note read. The note was not signed.

Kalada said he isn't angry about the theft by a regular customer.

"I get it. We've all done stupid things when we drink," he said.

He also said that he hasn't increased his prices, but that small theft can be costly to a small business.

"$50 goes missing today, $100 goes missing tomorrow. That adds up," Kalada said.

He said that someone who steals from a store will keep doing it because they think they can get away with it and it start.

"We do out best to combat (petty theft) so we can continue to provide our customers with a cheap, enjoyable avenue of entertainment," Kalada said.

Kalada credited followers of the Facebook page for their support of his business.

"I am thrilled and humbled that there are people on here that truly care about this place the same way my staff and I do. It is times like this that I am reminded how blessed I am to be born and raised in this area," he said.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.