When Officer Vicki Thomas caught Jessica Robles trying to steal $300 worth of food at a Miami grocery store, she didn't automatically cuff her and read her Miranda Rights -- though she certainly could have. Instead, she talked to her like a human being and what she discovered broke her heart. Robles is a single mom who has three children at home and no food to feed them. She says she was desperate to provide nourishment for her 12-year-old daughter and two young sons. What Thomas did next was nothing short of inspirational.
The officer went back into the grocery store and, using her own debit card, bought the woman $100 worth of groceries to help her family. After looking into Robles' criminal background and finding she didn't have any major charges, Thomas says she didn't see how arresting her was going to help her situation. According to Robles, things got bad at home after her boyfriend lost his job and they stopped receiving federal assistance.
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Doing what Thomas did for this mom would be a nice Band-Aid to apply to a wound that's just going to open again and again and again, and the officer realized that. So she also spent time speaking with Robles about various food banks, churches, and other organizations that could help her. She made Robles promise that when she got back on her feet, she would help someone else.
There are some questions that are still unanswered here, like why doesn't Robles have a job? Judging by the video, it looks like her youngest son is not yet in school and childcare is, of course, an exorbitant expense for a struggling family, so maybe that explains that. I really hope mom heeds Thomas' advice and looks into social programs and charities that can help her. Just $100 worth of groceries -- no matter how amazing the cop's actions -- is only going to go so far with three children to feed.
I think the important takeaway here though is that this family learned there are people out there who are willing to help, and mom needn't become a criminal in the process of trying to feed her children.
Do you think the officer was enabling this mom for helping her or was this just an amazing act of pure generosity?
Image via CNN.com