Alabama officer doesn't arrest woman caught stealing eggs; buys her food instead

TARRANT, Ala. -- An Alabama woman thought she was going to jail after she was caught stealing eggs to help feed her children and grandchildren, but the police officer who came to the scene surprised her.

Helen Johnson went to buy eggs to feed her five children and grandchildren, two of whom are toddlers. They hadn't eaten in two days, and with only $1.25 in her pocket, she was 50 cents short.

"My mind must have snapped," Johnson said. "I said (to myself), I'll take three."

But a worker caught her.

"Once I waited, I thought, I'm going to jail," Johnson said.

"She started crying," said Officer William Stacy, who was called to the scene. "She said, 'I need help. I need help Officer Stacy, I need to put food in my babies' stomachs.' That's what got me. That's what hit me the hardest. I told her to park on the side of the parking lot. I ran in, bought the carton of eggs, came back outside and handed them to her."

"He bought me not three eggs, but a dozen, wrapped up in a yellow bag from Dollar General," Johnson said.

And someone watching caught it all on his phone. Now, people all over the world have seen it, and many are stopping by the Tarrant Police Station to bring Johnson and her family food.

"It actually reminded me of my own childhood," donor Rose Thomas said. "We didn't have a lot. Some days, we had nothing to eat. It was touching and moving to see a positive story on TV about police officers."

Officer Stacy then made a very special delivery.

"You want some more eggs?" he asked as he led the way for truckloads of donated food brought to her house.

"Oh my gosh!" Johnson said. "Yes! You're so sweet. You're so sweet. This is not food. This is manna from heaven. This is the best thing that has ever happened to us."

Johnson says her cabinets have never been this full.

"This is more than I ever thought," she said. "This is more than I ever thought would come out of eggs."

She says in a time of riots and allegations against police officers, she hopes Officer Stacy's kindness will make an impact.

"We're not all crooked individuals looking to beat up or kill somebody," he said. "That's not what we swore to do. That's not why I wear this badge every day."

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