A man accused of shoplifting cold medicine and diapers from a Walmart in Kansas received help from police when officers learned that he was trying to provide for his special needs son and terminally ill wife back at home.
The Westwood Police Department took to its Facebook page on Friday afternoon to tell everyone a story about a team of local law enforcement officials showing compassion when confronted with the difficult circumstances of the alleged act. According to the post, the man accused of stealing was entangled in a situation that was too severe for officers to ignore when thinking about punishment.
The Westwood Police Department wrote that it had gotten a call about the theft and found the suspect just a few blocks away from the Walmart, where he apparently walked out with “cold medicine, diapers and a few other items.”
Representatives from the Walmart store asked the police to file charges against the man, whose identity has not yet been made public, for the alleged theft on Jan. 27. When officers ran the man’s name through their database, they found that there was also a warrant for his arrest in neighboring Lexena, Kan.
When the Westwood Police Department put out a notice for the alleged shoplifter to appear for the shoplifting charge, they gave him over to the Lenexa police — and that’s when the compassionate behavior kicked in.
“Turns out he was the father of young boy [sic] with special needs and the husband of a wife with terminal cancer,” the post said. “The Lenexa officer heard the story and gave the man a signature bond. The WWPD, FWPD and RPPD officers bought some of the products for the man and he was taken home.”
Multiple members of the community have since shared the department’s post, showcasing their appreciation for the way that all of the officers involved handled the delicate situation.
“That’s a great story and shows how good these officers truly are. I do hope this man connects with a larger community of resources so he doesn’t feel he needs to resort to this kind of desperation going forward,” one person wrote. Another said, “This story is awesome and I just want to say hats off to all four police departments for showing the compassion to this man that you did. Thank you.”
The Westwood Police Department displayed their thanks to the various officers as well.
“4 officers, 4 different departments. All had a job to do, but did it with compassion,” the post concluded. “Got to like that kind of teamwork.”