Sarah Robinson was caught shoplifting but never went to jail. That's because the officer called to the scene of the crime couldn't bring himself to arrest her and instead picked up her tab.
Robinson had attempted to steal $300 worth of merchandise, including diapers, children’s shoes and baby wipes at a Wal-Mart in Roeland Park, Kansas, NBC affiliate KSHB reported. She explained to Officer Mark Engravalle that she was homeless and living out of her car with her six children after her husband died in an accidental drowning four years ago.
“What she did was wrong, but I think her heart was in the right place with wanting to take care of her children,” said Engravalle, a father of two himself.
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He noticed that three of her children were barefoot and had dirty feet, so he bought diapers and wipes from the store and sent Robinson’s 16-year-old daughter to pick out shoes for her sisters.
The officer paid for it all himself.
Engravalle did write Robinson a ticket, but the mother is grateful that she wasn’t arrested and that her children weren’t taken away. Her case is pending in the Roeland Park Municipal Court.
“He did something that will never be forgotten,” Robinson told KSHB. “He helped us when nobody else would.”
Roeland Park police are also handling donations for the family and can be reached at 913-677-3363.