Officer answers shoplifting call, pays for family’s Christmas dinner instead

Officer responds to shoplifting call, pays for family’s groceries

SOMERSET, Mass. — A police officer showed kindness in a time of need during the holidays.

Somerset police officer Matt Lima was called to a grocery store for a report of shoplifting.

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When he got there, officials said that two women and two young children were using a self-checkout, but didn’t scan all of the items that they had bagged. When an employee printed a receipt, they allegedly found that many items in the bags were missing from the transaction.

“Officer Lima discovered that the two suspects fell upon hard times and attempted to take additional groceries they did not have enough money to pay for so they could provide a Christmas dinner for the two young children,” the department said in a news release.

Since all of the items were groceries, Lima issued a “notice not to trespass” form. After finding out all of the items that were not paid for were returned to the store shelves, Lima bought $250 worth of gift cards to be used at another store in the chain.

“His actions exemplify what it means to protect and serve the members of our community. When faced with a difficult situation in which a family was trying to provide a meal for their kids, he made the generous decision to not press charges and instead ensured that they would have a Christmas dinner they could enjoy,” Chief George McNeil said in a statement.

Lima said he helped the women out because the kids reminded him of his own children.

Officer Matt Lima was called for an alleged shoplifting case, but instead of filing charges he paid the tab for a family's groceries.
Officer Matt Lima was called for an alleged shoplifting case, but instead of filing charges he paid the tab for a family's groceries. (Somerset Police Department)