In Massachusetts, a Somerset Police Officer responding to a shoplifting incident, but decided that ‘the punishment didn’t fit the crime’, so he bought groceries for the suspects instead.
It was five days before Christmas when Officer Matt Lima responded to Stop & Shop responding to a report of shoplifting.
Upon his arrival, Officer Lima learned that two women with two young children had not scanned all of their groceries at the self-checkout kiosk, before exiting the store with numerous items not scanned.
Lima took the two suspects aside and learned they had fallen upon hard times and attempted to take additional groceries so they could provide a Christmas dinner for the two children.
“The mother of the children was not working and had some other family issues going on and what she had taken was Christmas dinner for the kids,” the officer told WJAR News.
Officer Lima served the two women Notice Not To Trespass forms, and refused to file criminal charges.
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Lima’s boss, Chief George McNeil, said, “This incident is a true testament of Officer Lima’s great character and decision making.”
“The two children with the women reminded me of my kids, so I had to help them out,” Officer Lima said.
Officer Lima then then purchased gift cards in the amount of $250 with his own money so the women would be able to purchase groceries for their Christmas dinner at another Stop & Shop location.
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“I would like to personally commend Officer Lima for his actions,” Chief McNeil said. “They 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.”
Check out the local news coverage below…
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