The white box, filled with letters grieving people can write to their dead loved ones, had been taken from Hughes Funeral Directors in Cannock.
It was believed to have taken place on Sunday morning, but was later returned along with £20 to pay for repairs and a letter apologising to them.
The note said: “I’m putting £20 in for you to repaint it I’m so so sorry. I would just like to say I’m so so sorry for taking the post box I didn’t read any letter or anything saying wot [sic] it was.
“That does not make it right in any way. I’m a scum bag for even taking it to start with. It was late when I saw it on Facebook and I’m a coward, a low-life (p***k).
“Please forgive me for this and please believe me when I say I didn’t know what it was. I have put it where you will have it brought back to you because I am a fool who is so ashamed for what I have done. I am really sorry honestly with all my heart I’m so so sorry.”
Owner Kimberly Hughes said she was hopeful this situation would provide the man with “food for thought” and get him to consider his actions, whilst a councillor has contacted the funeral directors’ to help signpost the man to receive support.
She said: “We were shocked because not only had it been returned, but it’s the extent they went to as well – they put £20 in towards the paint and they wrote a letter which said to use he’d made a mistake, so all the anger we had was gone.
“I think there’s a reason why people steal things, there’s always a reason why people end up in difficult circumstances. It doesn’t excuse the fact he did steal the postbox, it wasn’t his to take, but I’m hoping this kind of act and the consequences will in future make him think before he takes things.”
One person said on social media: “Sending hugs to the person that took it. You’re not as bad as you think you are. The easy thing to do would have been to not return it. I think your a decent person deep down.
“You’ve returned it, that wouldn’t have been easy, you’ve apologised with sincerity and you’ve tried to make amends. Everyone makes mistakes.”