Officer pays for family’s Christmas groceries instead of charging two women with shoplifting


In Massachusetts, a police officer used his money to buy Christmas dinner for a family in need instead of charging two women for shoplifting.

According to the Somerset police department's website, Officer Matt Lima was called to a grocery store on December 20. The police department reported that store security said two women didn't scan everything they put in their bags at a self-checkout register.

Police say the women, who had two small children with them, were stopped as they left the store.

"I have two girls myself, similar on age to the two girls that were there, so it kind of struck me a little bit," Lima said.

After the incident, Lima took one of the women aside to talk about what happened without the children there. Store employees kept the children occupied, so they had no idea what was going on.

"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 said.

The police officer then looked at the receipt to see what the women had planned to buy. He then realized that they were getting food.

"Obviously, this family was in need and I can't imagine having to make the decision to go to Stop & Shop and just only pay for what I can afford -- or do I go there and try to take things for Christmas dinner for the kids?" Lima added.

Police reported that Lima served them with a notice not to trespass but did not press charges on them. He then explained how the two women were thankful and kind of shocked.

"I'm sure a lot of people in that same situation would be thinking that there was going to be a different outcome, and maybe they would be arrested or have to go to court," Lima said.

Lima bought a $250 gift card for the women to buy their groceries at a different store.

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