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Florida officer buys groceries for shoplifting mom in need

South Florida mother Jessica Robles, seen in this file image, was caught stealing food for her kids. A police officer caught her but didn't arrest her - instead, the officer bought the mother some groceries to help her family.

October 23, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A south Florida mother was caught shoplifting food for her children, but instead of getting arrested, she got a helping hand from a police officer.

Last month, Jessica Robles was stopped as she walked out of a Publix grocery store pushing a cart filled with $300 worth of food she didn't pay for.

Miami-Dade police officer Vickie Thomas stopped Robles and asked her why she would do such a thing. Robles' response was, "My children are hungry."

Instead of arresting her, Thomas ran Robles' criminal history and found nothing major. Seeing that Robles was not a habitual shoplifter, Thomas charged her with a misdemeanor and gave her a notice to appear in court.

The officer then went above and beyond her duties by buying Robles $100 worth of groceries for her and her three children.

"She came out and asked, 'Do you even have food at the house?' And I looked at her and in her face, and told her, 'No, not at all,'" Robles said.

"I made the decision to buy her some groceries because arresting her wasn't going to solve the problem with her children being hungry. So I went in and bought her some groceries," said Thomas.

Thomas said it was all worth it when she saw Robles' children rummaging through the bags of food.

"To see them go through the bags when we brought them in, it was like Christmas," she said. "That $100 to me was worth it."

Robles said she is currently receiving help from a local food bank and is searching desperately for a job. She said she is extremely grateful for Thomas' act of kindness.

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