The owner then pulled out a rifle and pointed it at the would-be robber.
The bandit dropped to his knees and begs for mercy.
Mohammad Sohail says he then engaged the man in prayer and let him go with a loaf of bread and 40 dollars.
Six months later, Sohail says his kindness is paying off.
"I'm crying and I'm very happy. I say thank God, somebody's life has been changed," he said.
The deli owner says he broke down in tears of joy when he realized the man made good on a promise to get his life together, sending him a heartfelt thank you letter and a 50 dollar bill.
"When I see this letter, it surprised me," Sohail said.
Sohail was sitting in his office opening up mail when he got the typewritten note.
In fact, the suspect, who was never caught by police, starts out by writing "You change my life?. I know that it was wrong, but I had no choice. I needed to feed my family? Because you spared my life, I decided to become a true Muslim."
Sohail is saving the $50 for charity.