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99-year-old returns hotel towel 44 years after stealing it: 'Huge weight off my shoulders'

After accidentally stealing the towel in 1980, the man made a point to drive three hours to finally return it.

99-year-old returns hotel towel 44 years after stealing it: 'Huge weight off my shoulders'
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Kampus Production

It's not uncommon to accidentally take a hotel item, but few go to the lengths Nahim Alcure did to return it. The 99-year-old mistakenly took a hotel towel 44 years ago and recently returned it, per Mirror. The former mayor shared that he feels like a "huge weight" has lifted off his shoulders, reports NeedtoKnow.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Engin Akyurt
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Engin Akyurt

In 1980, during a family trip, Alcure stayed at the Plaza Hotel Colatina, northeast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and accidentally kept a towel. He was always bothered by having it but couldn't return it for 44 years. When he recently found it among his belongings, he drove three hours (111 miles) from his son's house in Guarapari to return it, insisting on making the trip alone.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Ketut Subiyanto
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Ketut Subiyanto

The former mayor of Luna said, "I stayed at the hotel for a week and when I went to unpack my suitcase, I discovered that I had taken a towel by mistake. I moved several times over the years and kept forgetting about it and didn’t know where it was. But when it resurfaced, I made a point of returning it." He also recalled that he was at the hotel with his son in 1980 who was taking law degree entrance exams during that time.

Though Alcure had the towel all these years it was only recently when his brother passed away and they were going through their old belongings that they found it. It was tucked inside a pillowcase. Alcure’s daughter, Najla Leal said, "After he passed away, we started organizing some things and found the towel stored inside a pillowcase. Everywhere he lived, he took the pillowcase, but it's a mystery that it didn't get lost during so many moves."


The elderly man knew that it was finally time to return the towel to where it belonged. The hotel staff was surprised and thankful for what he did. He shared, “The girl at the hotel said she thought the act was important, thanked me, and insisted on taking a photo.” Intrigued as to why Alcure had kept the item for so many years, he had a perfect reply, “Honesty is a virtue, not a duty." The hotel doesn’t use towels with their name embossed on them so they would preserve it by framing it and putting it on display at the reception.

The hotel owner, Maria Zelurze told the local media that Alcure was bothered by having kept the towel. She said, “He took it by mistake. He didn’t do it on purpose. He’s an honest person, and that’s quite rare. Here, people sometimes take towels or bedspreads, but they never return them. This has never happened before." Now that the towel has been returned, Alcure has one less thing to worry about.

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