A Massachusetts cop caught two women shoplifting for their family’s Christmas dinner — and decided to pay for groceries for them and the two kids with them, Somerset Police say.
Police officer Matt Lima was called to the Stop & Shop on Grand Army Highway in Somerset, which is right next to Fall River, for a report of a shoplifting in progress on Dec. 20, the Sunday before Christmas.
When he showed up, a store employee told him he’d seen two women with two young children not scanning all of their groceries before putting them into bags at a self-checkout kiosk, according to the police department. The worker had printed out the women’s receipt, and seen that indeed some of the items they were bagging weren’t on it.
The store asked the two women to stay while the police showed up, and they did so. Lima talked to them and “discovered (they) fell upon hard times” and had tried to sneak the handful of extra groceries that “they did not have enough money to pay for so they could provide a Christmas dinner for the two young children.”
Lima gave them warnings that they wouldn’t be allowed back in the store, and told them and the store employee he wouldn’t be pressing charges. Lima then bought the women $250 in gift cards with his own money so the women could go to another Stop & Shop location.
“The two children with the women reminded me of my kids, so I had to help them out,” Lima said in a statement from the police department.
Somerset Police Chief George McNeil praised the officer’s decision not to bring the hammer down.
“This incident is a true testament of Officer Lima’s great character and decision making,” the chief said in a statement. “His actions exemplify what it means to protect and serve the members of our community. When faced with a difficult situation in which a family was trying to provide a meal for their kids, he made the generous decision to not press charges and instead ensured that they would have a Christmas dinner they could enjoy.”
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