The sender also sent a letter to the South St. Paul police department asking for forgiveness, The Pioneer Press reported .
"I was quite shocked," police Chief Bill Messerich said. "It's not something you see every day."
The note says the anonymous driver hit a parked car one evening in 1985 or 1986. The sender expressed remorse and requested police try to track down the vehicle's owner. The note says the money could be donated to a police charity if the victim isn't located.
"I am sorry for any inconvenience that I have caused and I ask for your forgiveness," the letter says.
Police records don't go that far back so the money was put into the department's general account, Messerich said. It will be used to buy new equipment or technology.
"I guess this was just weighing on this person's conscience for over 30 years and they came to a certain point in their life where they wanted to try to make things right if they could," Messerich said.
City Administrator Steve Kind has been in city government for 35 years. He said he hasn't seen a similar donation.
"It's a pleasant surprise," he said. "It's nice to be the recipient, so there's that part of it. But it's also good to see there's redemption after all those years."
Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com
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