Woman Steals Food, Officer Buys Her Groceries Rather than Arresting Her
Helen Johnson was having a hard week. The $120 disability check belonging to her daughter and which supported herself, her two daugthers, niece and two grandchildren had not shown up in the mail. Her own check would not arrive until much, much later.
The family had gone two days without food before Helen scrounged together $1.25 to buy some eggs from the local dollar store. However, Helen was short .50 cents in taxes and out of frustration and hunger stuffed five eggs into her jacket pocket. A store worker approached her and told her the police had been called. Before she even got to the door, Tarrant Police Officer William Stacy detained her and placed her into his squad car.
A few minutes later he returned with a carton of eggs and gave it to Johnson. He made her promise to never shoplift again, gave her the eggs and took her home. Johnson was filled with relief and gratitude. She even tried to give Officer Stacy the $1.25 she had to pay him for his kindness.
“She started crying, she got very emotional and was very apologetic,” Stacy said. “She tried to give me the money she had on her, $1.25.”
He refused, but it turns out that carton of eggs was only the beginning.
Word got around and donations poured in for Helen Johnson and her family. The Tarrant Police department showed up to her home on Wednesday with two trucks filled with groceries courtesy of the kindness of the officers and those who donated to make the family’s life better.
When asked why he chose to let Johnson go originally, Officer Stacy relayed that he had been called to the Johnson’s threadbare home once before, adding “The story she told me Saturday matched up with what I had seen when I was there. I felt like it was the right thing to do. I didn’t want to pass judgment on her.”
Johnson and her family were elated by the continued generosity shown to them. “
“The last time I saw my house this full, I was 12-years-old and staying with my grandmother. I’ve been crying all day.”
The family was literally on their last slice of bread the day before officers arrived on their doorstep with massive amounts of food.
Johnson stated her life had been changed by Officer Stacy and the Tarrant Police Department.
“My heart,” she said, “is wide open right now.”