I heard this incidence from Bhai Sahib Amar Singh ji Patiala wale.
Once, some cash money and other valuables were stolen from the personal residential quarters of Baba Avtar Singh ji. His wife, lovingly known as Jagat Mata by the disciples, suspected one sewadaar; who used to often visit and work in that room and occasionally clean it too.
By the evening, that person; the sewadaar was apprehended along with all those valuables in his possession. They brought him in the presence of Baba Avtar Singh ji and asked him what they should do with the thief?
Baba ji said “Now that you have recovered everything, let him go.”
“But Baba ji. He stole this money and other valuables. How can we just let him go? We would like to call the police and have him arrested for this crime.
Baba ji Said “Look. He is not a thief. He has been doing my seva for quite some time. Somehow, today he suddenly became greedy and stole these things. This is probably the first time he did something like this. Instead of handing him over to the police, you should teach him the values of right conduct and the virtues of ‘Gursikhi’ so that he may live the rest of his life with honesty and contentment.”
But the others were not convinced. They still wanted to do something about it.
Sensing some hesitation and reluctance on their faces, Baba Avtar Singh ji further said “What would have you done if it were your own son or daughter? One of your close family member whom you love dearly? Would you still hand them over to the police, drag them to the court without giving them another chance to repent and correct themselves?”
Everyone was quiet. They freed the thief and let him go.
Nevertheless, he came back few days later, repented and wanted to continue doing the seva for the Guru and the mission. Baba Avtar Singh ji welcomed him with open arms and graciously accepted his offer.
Later, he became a great and highly respectable poet and writer of the mission.
I remember Rishi Vyas Dev ji often used the following quote in his discourses:
‘Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future’