Teen Thief's Reason For Breaking Law Is Sad - Cops Give Him A Break

By the time we're in our teens, we are fully aware that stealing is wrong on many levels. Still, a lot of people every year are caught breaking the law. For some, it's the thrill of stealing; for others, it's greed.

They want what they want, and they don't want to work up or save for it. Some people steal because they want drugs, and some steal out of desperation. When police caught one teen stealing this Christmas season, they couldn't help feeling bad for him when he revealed the reason.

Police in Charleston, West Virginia caught a teenager who was shoplifting from a Kanawha County Kmart. He tried to walk out of the store with a stocking and a toboggan.

When police confronted the 15-year-old boy, he said he was stealing because he was trying to get a present for Christmas for his little sister.

The police could have easily charged the young man for stealing, and could have put the child through a big ordeal with his family. But when the officers heard his reason, they felt bad for the underprivileged child and decided to give him a break.

They brought the young man back into the Kmart to return the items and apologized to the manager. The teen did as he was told. They explained the situation to the loss prevention manager at Kmart, who decided not to press charges.

The police were then walking out of the store after the incident. One officer said they couldn't just walk away.

One officer told KCHSTV, "I looked at Rinehart and was like, 'You think we should buy it for him'. And he's like, 'Yeah, let's do it.'" So Officer Smith took the young man outside, and Officer Rinehart went back in the store to purchase the items.

"We deal with people stealing beer, cigarettes, you know," said Rinehart. "It's a whole lot different when you're stealing something for your little sister."

Smith says that with all the people they deal with, the officers can tell when someone is genuine, even if they're 'lost' and making a big mistake.

Charleston Police Department Community Services posted an account of the incident on Facebook. “Crime and enforcement is not always black and white. I’m proud that our officers have the compassion to see the difference between an act of greed or feeding habits and someone who has no other way to provide," it read.

Many commenters were touched by what the officers did, and believe it was the right thing at this time of year.

“That child will remember your kindness forever and probably was life changing for him. Had he gotten away with his haul, it could have led to more trouble for him. Thanks to the two officers for their kindness and understanding,” one commenter wrote.

“Such a wonderful thing our officers did for this family. Bless them, hopefully this act of kindness may change this young mans life and one day maybe he will be an officer and be able to help someone who once was in his shoes. Thank you officers,” said another.

“Awesome job guys!!! That young man will likely have a different outlook on law enforcement now!” said another.

Hopefully, the young man will grow up and pay it forward someday.

Source: KATU, WCHS
Photo: Wikimedia Commons, WCHS

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