Employees told them they copied down a woman’s license plate number after witnessing her stealing food.
When they responded to the home of Theresa West, the officers were taken aback by her story.
West, the mother of three adopted children, told WRAL the family had gone three days without food before she shoplifted from the grocery store.
She said after failed attempts at getting help from local churches and organizations, she didn’t know what else to do. “I had to go out and steal food, and that’s desperate, and I’m sorry for doing what I did but my kids were hungry,” she said.
West gave the officers back the $36 worth of stolen food, and although the officers ultimately had to “criminally charge her with the theft,” they decided to do something to help her.
They went back to the store and bought West and her family $140 worth of groceries. On Facebook, officials with the department wrote, “Sometimes police work is not cut and dry. We are people first and cops second.”