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Bob Snipes, owner of I-Deal Motors on Dayton Boulevard, stands near his sign with a message directed at the person who stole one of his vehicles of the lot.

RED BANK - Bob Snipes has a message for the person who stole a truck from his business: He loves the thief anyway.

Snipes is the owner of I-Deal Motors, a used car dealership on Dayton Boulevard. When he came to work on Aug. 29, a Ford F-150 was missing from the lot. Snipes estimated that the pickup was worth $4,000 to $5,000.

Even though he was frustrated that the truck was missing, he wanted the thief to know that he wouldn't hold a grudge. So he put up a sign that reads: "Whoever stole our truck last wk we love you. Trust Jesus."

The sign was still up on Thursday.

"I thought, whoever did this must be desperate and have some problems," Snipes said this week in an interview. "I just wanted to let him know that we still love him."

Snipes hopes the sign will motivate the truck thief to come talk to him.

"We're just people, too," Snipes said. "We don't hold grudges, and maybe we could help him."

Snipes' daughter, Tasha Pitt, said this kind of positivity is normal for her dad."Because of his faith, he does turn to the optimism," Pitt said.

But Snipes doesn't want the attention.

"There's nothing in me that's worthy of any recognition," Snipes said.

Snipes said that he put the sign up because "the scripture says faith without works is dead."

Pitt said that her father changes the message on the business' sign often with "something that his heart is led to say." Usually, he puts up scripture.

"But he puts it in layman's terms for people to understand," Pitt said.

On Thursday afternoon, Snipes was getting ready to switch out the letters again. He said he had settled on a new message: "A day without prayer is a day boasting against God."

Contact staff writer Mary Helen Miller at mhmiller@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6324.

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