A Ballarat gym owner’s compassionate response to an early morning alleged break-in has attracted the attention of thousands on social media.
Sean Weir, owner of Sean Weir Fitness Gym on Mair Street East, posted a video on Facebook on Tuesday morning after hearing of the alleged break-in and theft of a laptop which contained four years of password protected membership data.
“I wanted to express something a bit different to how most people would react to something like this happening to them,” he said in the video.
You can’t react angry, you can’t call them a scumbag, because that would just be fighting fire with fire.Sean Weir
“The person that has committed this has probably got a lot of sh*t going on that has forced them to thinking this is the way out, this is the way to do things, and something they need to do… you can’t react angry, you can’t call them a scumbag, because that would just be fighting fire with fire.”
The video has been shared more than 120 times and has received support from members of the gym and the Ballarat community.
Watch the video below.
Mr Weir told The Courier he hoped his response to the break-in provided an example to people not to make quick judgement, but instead show empathy.
“I stopped and thought about it a bit, realised there is not much I can do about it and decided to make the best out of a bad situation,” he said.
“Obviously this person is going through some stuff that is influential in this. I have been through the same as a teenager. I needed a bit of a wake up call back then and hopefully this might be theirs.
“There are a lot of people out there who are not doing as well as you might be. Many are struggling with addiction and homelessness and have issues we don’t know about.”
Mr Weir said an iPad, some cash, hoodies and singlets, as well as the laptop with important membership data were stolen in the alleged break in.
In the video he sent a message to the thief, asking for the return of the program that is on the laptop.
“My message to this person, hopefully everyone can share this to them, is you can keep everything, you can keep the laptop, you can keep the money, you can keep the singlets, keep the iPad, but if you have it in you to return the program that is on the laptop with all the membership data that I have worked very hard to produce over the last four years, then that will be very much appreciated,” he said.
Victoria Police has been notified of the incident.
Mr Weir is currently on holiday with his family in Cairns.