Mom Teaches Grocery Store Wallet Thief a Lesson He'll Never Forget

Inspiring 19

grocery storeI'm one of those grocery store shoppers who never lets her purse out of her sight. Too many people. Too many sticky fingers. And if you're like me, the story going round the interwebs of an Oklahoma mom whose wallet got stolen in the grocery store will give you goosebumps. Jessica Eaves didn't call the police. She bought the wallet thief groceries.

Now, I know what you're (probably) thinking. She must be one of those do gooder types.

And you're right! The mother of four and full-time college student told Yahoo! Shine she volunteers 12 hours a week at a Christian Outreach facility.

Total do gooder.

And totally inspiring.

Turns out Eaves realized her wallet was missing, and after she tracked down the culprit in the store, she gave him a choice. Give back the wallet, and she'd buy his groceries. If he didn't give it back, she'd call the cops.

Eaves says he opted for door number one, and confessed he was flat broke and had kids at home. He apologized; and she ended up spending $27 to buy a father and his kids some food.

Or you could say she spent $27 to change a life.

Maybe he went on to just take someone else's wallet. Who knows. But something inside me says nah, the human kindness here mattered. The fact that someone did something so extraordinary MATTERED.

How often do you really feel like you have a positive affect on the other people you run into day after day?

Sure, maybe you smile or you hold the door for someone. But do you actually go out of your way to do something, something that might make you uncomfortable? Do you go out of your way to change your perceptions of people?

I'll own up. I don't. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but going that extra mile, actually loving the sinner? That's hard, y'all!

And if you asked me yesterday what I would have done if someone stole my wallet in the grocery store, my answer would be "call the cops."

Maybe it still would be. I guess it depends on the situation. But this is where Jessica Eaves' story changes me -- could change us all -- my view of the "situation" is broader now. It isn't just about my wallet. It's about the person who stole my wallet, about finding out why they stole my wallet.

She reached out, and what she learned was this was someone who needed help, someone who made a mistake but who had redeeming qualities in the end.

Still not convinced? OK, selfish, let's take it from Jessica Eaves's side.

She could have gone through the whole pain in the butt process of calling the cops and filing a report. Maybe her wallet would have been taken to process as evidence. Maybe she would have had to deal with interviews from cops and had this whole thing drag on and on.

Instead she got this whole thing over with in probably 10 minutes, 15 tops, and she walked out of that grocery store feeling GOOD about herself. She bought some poor kids some groceries! She made someone else's life BETTER.

How often do you say that?

Have you ever judged someone only to find out you should have gone easy on them? What happened?


Image via Kate Ter Haar/Flickr




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nonmember avatar adrien

good for her! Maybe he will pay it forward and change his ways. You never know when an unexpected act of kindness can change someone's life.

bunny... bunnyxlover

or maybe he had no kids and was just trying to think of a way out

the4m... the4mutts

Well, she's a better person than I am.

I will, and have, bought "beggars" food. My husband recently saw a man begging with his crying 2yr old. The guy said he JUST got custody of her, and IS working, but the job was also new, and only paid bi-weekly. Even showed his new hire paperwork. But he was between checks, and didnt know he would have his daughter so soon. He had to feed her. So my husband went in the store, bough pb&j, bread, milk and cereal for them.

The guy sat down and made her a sandwich right there under a tree in the parking lot. She was skinny, and dirty. She ate it in about 10 seconds flat.

Because my husband and I are generous people in ways like this, I would never, ever let a thief get away with stealing from me.

I would have gone through the hassle of calling the cops. If the potential thief had ASKED, I would have bought him food. But to steal? No. If you're that damned brazen, steal from the store. At least they have insurance. But when you steal from me, you're potentially taking food from my kid's mouths.

Im not as kind as this woman was. Good for her, Im sure I could learn a lesson from her.

But I won't.

prplecat prplecat

Proverbs 25
21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:
22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head (blessings), and the LORD shall reward thee.

nonmember avatar Spider

I work retail and see people with ebt on a daily basis. Sometimes they have to pay out of pocket. I get yelled at, cursed at. If it's a few cents the person behind them will pay. The ebt person doesn't even say thank you or nothing. People live in a desperate world and will do anything. It was a blessing for that lady to do that but if you have kids why risk going to jail just for some food? there are options out there like getting a job, soup kitchens, etc.

Bj Beverlyjan Howell

As tender hearted as I am I still can't refuse somebody in need. It breaks my heart to see a child or an adult go hungry or in need of the other necessities. Granted I've been used and emotionally abused but at least I can say at the time I helped I felt good about it.

nonmember avatar DaggerMove

I'm going to start stealing, then get caught. Because if you're a theif and get caught, people will just buy your stuff for you.

Barbara Argyropoulos

Sorry, I would have told him that he isn't the only one with children and let justice be served by the police. I also give others in need when asked or if  I see it clearly. To steal from an individual is the worst of all theft, how many can really afford the loss? This is without taking into account the emotional impact when targeted by thieves. They target the weakest deliberately.

I see your point about all the hassle of dealing with the police and the prosecution, that is the system. If it doesn't work well enough, change that. Maybe the authorities need this to alert them to a family in need.

Erin Butcher

im with the4mutts on this one.  if i see a person genuinely in need, i always try to help in some way.  even if i can't personally help, i can always direct them to places that can help.  but to blatantly steal from me would just tick me off.  that is food out of MY kid's mouth and that is not okay.  if he had asked, i probably would have helped him out.  but since he stole the wallet, i would have called the cops.  there are ways to get help without having to resort to stealing.  

Michelle Forkner Welch

I have never had my wallet stolen, but once when I was in line at the store, the guy in front of me was buying bread and milk and pb. His card declined and he looked so worried, so I stepped in and bought it for him. I mean, its not like he is buying popcorn, candy, pop, or anything else that are extras, he was buying bare nessessities. I think when people are honest and ask for help I am more inclined to give help. Although I am not loaded with money myself, I like to help when I can:)

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