A Massachusetts police officer went above the call of duty when he spent $250 of his own money so two women suspected of shoplifting could purchase groceries to feed their young children in time for a Christmas dinner, police said.
On Dec. 20, Officer Matt Lima was called to a Stop & Shop in Somerset, Massachusetts after two women allegedly failed to scan all the groceries they were purchasing at the self-checkout kiosks, according to the Somerset police department.
Once the officer learned that both of the suspects did not have enough money to pay for the groceries due to some difficult times, he decided not to arrest them, instead giving them a notice not to trespass before purchasing gift cards for them so they would be able to get the groceries they needed to create that special holiday meal.
“The two children with the women reminded me of my kids,” Lima said. “So I had to help them out.”
Both of the women were able to use the gift cards at another Stop & Shop location.
Officer Lima’s goodwill did not go unnoticed, with his chief personally commending him on his act of kindness.
“This incident is a true testament of Officer Lima’s great character and decision making,” Chief George McNeil said in a statement. “His actions exemplify what it means to protect and serve the members of our community.”