On 20th December 2020, Matt Lima, a Somerset Police Officer, was called to a Stop & Shop Store at 815 Grand Army Highway in Massachusetts for a case of shoplifting. The store officials told him that two women, accompanied by small children, had not scanned at the checkout counter all the grocery items that they had picked up.
Officer Lima took the two women aside for questioning so that their children would not be aware of what was happening. Upon questioning them and investigating them further, officer Lima discovered that the two women had fallen on hard times, did not have much money to purchase a dinner, and were taking some food items for their children for a Christmas dinner.
When he looked at the receipts, he realized that the women were in need and were actually just taking food items and groceries.
Since Officer Lima has two girls himself, his heart went out to the women in need.
“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 told CNN affiliate WJAR.
“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 told WJAR.
Lima did give out a notice to them to not trespass but what he did next surprised the women immensely.
He did not press criminal charges against the women. Rather, he bought them a $250 gift card with his own money so that they could buy themselves more food and groceries from another store.
“They were very thankful, they were 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.”
“I bought the gift card close in value to what would’ve been taken,” he added. “I just did what I felt was right. It’s not about me, I just tried to put myself in that family’s shoes and show a little bit of empathy.”
Don’t you think the world needs more officer like Officer Lima? Let us know what you think about Officer Lima’s benevolent act in the comments section below.