Police Officer Buys Desperate Shoplifter Food Instead Of Arresting Her
A life of poverty is hard enough.
And when a mother found herself having to choose between letting her children go hungry or stealing, she decided to take a box of eggs from a grocery store but was caught in the act.
A police Constable named William Stacy got to the scene and when he heard why she did what she did, he immediately felt sorry for her situation. Officer Stacy could have punished her but instead decided to buy her the eggs, and the hug they shared went viral after it was caught on video.
Johnson cares for her two daughters, nieces, and grandchildren, ages 1 and 3, with only $120 a month. A week prior to the incident, however, her pay was lost, leaving the family on the brink of starvation. They had not eaten for two days, so Johnson went to the local dollar store holding her last $1.25 in hopes of buying eggs.
Unfortunately, Mrs. Johnson found herself 50 cents short of being able to purchase the eggs, and in this desperate moment decided to put a few eggs into her pockets, where they cracked and leaked out.
“I am not a good thief at all,” Mrs. Johnson said.
After the store staff stopped her as she was about to leave the jacket with the broken eggs, Johnson admitted that she had stolen them to feed her children.
Once I waited, I thought, I’m going to jail,” she said.
“She started crying,” said Officer Stacy when he arrived at the store. “She said, ‘I need help. I need help Officer Stacy, I need to put food in my babies’ stomachs.’ That’s what got me. That’s what hit me the hardest. I told her to park on the side of the parking lot. I ran in, bought the carton of eggs, came back outside and handed them to her.”
“He bought me not three eggs, but a dozen, wrapped up in a yellow bag from Dollar General,” Mrs. Johnson said.
Just before she got into her car, Mrs. Johnson and Officer Stacy embraced for a hug, and unknown to them, the moment was captured on a smartphone by Robert ‘Dollar’ Tripp who later posted it to Facebook with the hashtag, ‘feelgoodstoryoftheday’.
Officer Stacy then made a very special delivery.
“You want some more eggs?” he asked as he led the way for truckloads of donated food brought to her house.
“Oh my gosh!” Johnson said. “Yes! You’re so sweet. You’re so sweet. This is not food. This is manna from heaven. This is the best thing that has ever happened to us.”
Johnson said her kitchen cabinets have never been this full.
“This is more than I ever thought,” she added said. “This is more than I ever thought would come out of eggs.”
She says in a time of riots and allegations against police officers, she hopes Officer Stacy’s kindness will make an impact.
“We’re not all crooked individuals looking to beat up or kill somebody,” he said. “That’s not what we swore to do. That’s not why I wear this badge every day.”
Having seen the viral video of Mrs. Johnson and officer Stacy on the news, many have stopped by the Tarrant Police Station to bring Johnson and her family food and have also made donations to their People’s First Federal Credit Union fund, which police officers set up for them.
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