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When a Massachusetts cop saw the list of things two women were trying to steal from a grocery store five days before Christmas, their situation touched his heart.
“It was all food,” he observed.
So instead of arresting them, he bought a $250 gift card to pay for Christmas dinner.
Officer Matt Lima of the Somerset Police Department paid for the dinner after responding to a call at the local Stop and Shop and seeing the two small children with the women, who had been caught skipping the scanner at the self-checkout line and putting several items straight into their bags.
“I have two girls myself, similar on age to the two girls that were there, so it kind of struck me a little bit,” Lima told local NBC affiliate WJAR.
He was moved when he learned that the mother of the two kids had no job, and the food they were stealing was for their holiday dinner. “There was nothing else on there like health and beauty items, shampoo, anything like that. It was all food,” he said. “I just tried to put myself in that family’s shoes and show a little bit of empathy.”
The store issued to two women a “no trespass” order.
Somerset Police Chief George McNeil praised the officer in a statement that said, “This incident is a true testament of Officer Lima’s great character and decision making.”