A Somerset, Massachusetts, police officer purchased groceries for two women suspected of shoplifting five days before Christmas.
Officer Matt Lima responded to a call at a local Stop & Shop store where two women with two small children were suspected of not scanning all their groceries in the self-checkout area, according to a press release from the Somerset Police Department.
Once Lima arrived at the grocery store, he talked to one of the women accused of shoplifting and learned that the women did not have the money to buy Christmas dinner because they fell on hard times.
“The woman I talked to, she explained she was working, but the mother of the children was not working and had some other family issues going on and that what she had taken was Christmas dinner for the kids,” Lima told WJAR.
The officer looked over the receipts and found that the women did not purchase anything but food.
WBZ reported that Lima gave the women a no trespassing order at the store but told the employee he would not press criminal charges because all the items not found on the receipt were food items.
Then Lima decided to help the two women instead of punishing them by purchasing a $250 gift card to cover the cost of their Christmas dinner.
“Those girls just reminded me of my girls,” Lima told WBZ. “So if I were in that situation, I would be very grateful if someone could help me, and that’s what I tried to do for them.”
Police Chief George McNeil “personally” praised Lima for his actions, adding that it was a “a true testament of Officer Lima’s great character and decision making.”