These days, it often seems like only negative stories about police officers make the news. That’s why it’s so heartwarming that a positive story about a Massachusetts cop going above and beyond to help a family in need is going viral this week!
Somerset Police Officer Matthew Lima was working his normal shift five days before Christmas when he was called to a local Stop & Shop grocery store about two women who had been caught shoplifting. He later explained to WCVB-TV that shoplifting is one of the most common things that cops are called to retail stores about.
“It can be people shoplifting any number of items, any value from $10 up to thousands of dollars,” Lima said. “You really don’t know what to expect until you get there.”
Employees of the Stop & Shop had called the police to claim that two women who were shopping with two children had only scanned a few of their items at the self-checkout, yet they bagged all of their groceries anyway. When Lima arrived at the grocery store, he immediately saw this to be a different situation than most.
“It was a little bit different from the get-go because not too many people engage in that type of behavior with their young children there,” the police officer said.
One other thing stuck out to Lima as well, with him later saying, “I noticed it was all grocery items, so it was all consumable food items.”
The police officer suspected right away that the women may only have been shoplifting out of necessity, but he asked them why they had done it anyway.
“She stated that, obviously it goes without saying, that times are tough for a lot of people, that she was working but not enough and didn’t make enough money and that there were some other family issues going on and that she just wanted to provide a Christmas dinner for the kids,” Lima recalled.
Lima felt especially compassionate for the women because he has children who are the same age as theirs are. He decided against filing charges against them, giving them a trespassing notice instead. Once he had escorted them out of the Stop & Shop, however, Lima found himself turning around and walking right back in.
“I just made the decision that I was going to purchase the gift cards and they could go to a different Stop & Shop and buy their Christmas dinner for their girls,” he said.
This has been a difficult year for Americans from all walks of life, so now more than ever, it’s important that we help one another when we can.
“We have the ability to adapt to many things,” Lima said. “But also, we just need to be there for each other and be there for our neighbors.”
This piece originally appeared in UpliftingToday.com and is used by permission.
Read more at UpliftingToday.com:
Melissa Gilbert Says She Would ‘Punch’ The ‘Little House On The Prairie’ Cast Mate Who Slept With Her Husband
Barack Obama Reveals Malia’s Boyfriend Quarantined With Their Family This Year
Meghan Markle And Prince Harry Reportedly Pushing Royal Family For ’12-Month Extension To Megxit Deal’
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