When police officer Matt Lima responded to a robbery call at a Stop & Shop store on December 20 in Somerset, Massachusetts, he found that the defendants were two women with two little girls who had tried to take some unpaid food along with the rest of the purchase. When attempting to exit the market, the alarm was triggered by detecting items that had not been paid for, for this reason the women were arrested in the store until a police officer arrived.
But when the officer arrived at the site, the women explained that they were having a bad economic moment and wanted to be able to give their children a table to say for this Christmas.
The testimony of the detainees moved Lima who refused to take them and in return paid for the stolen food.
«There was nothing in his purchase of health or beauty products, shampoo, or anything like that. It was all food,» said the policeman on a local television channel.
«Obviously, this family was in need and I can’t imagine having to make the decision between going to Stop & Shop and spending only what I can afford, or whether to go there and try to take things for Christmas dinner for girls?» he added as he said the girls reminded him of their own daughters.
«I bought the gift card for a value close to what they would have taken,» the policeman explained. «I just did what I felt was right. It’s not about me, I just tried to put myself in that family’s place and show some empathy.»
Lima ended up spending $250 out of her own pocket to buy them supermarket gift cards to buy at another chain store to help them make a purchase for Christmas dinner.