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US cop lets off mum for theft, buys nappies and shoes for kids

world Updated: Jul 12, 2015 18:50 IST


A US police officer, called to a Walmart store to investigate a woman caught shop-lifting goods worth $300, shelled out own money to buy diapers and shoes for the homeless mother of six while letting her off with a citation for misdemeanor theft.

Roeland Park Police officer Mark Engravalle found Sarah Robison and her six children in a Walmart car park. He immediately noticed that three of her children were not wearing shoes and that the $300 of stolen goods contained nappies, children's shoes and baby wipes.

Robinson, who was left widowed after her husband died three years ago in an accidental drowning, said that she was homeless and that she and her daughters were living out of their car, occasionally sharing a rented one room bedroom in a stranger's house.

"So I went to Walmart, grabbed clothes, shoes, diapers, wipes, and I just walked out, but they caught me," Robinson told ABC News.

"My heart just dropped. I didn't know what to say or do. It was horrible. I thought I was going to jail," she added.

After releasing Robinson with a citation for misdemeanor theft, Engravalle went back inside the store with her children and bought diapers, baby wipes and clothes for the children. He even let the girls pick out their own shoes, the ABC report said.

"He couldn't have been nicer to my girls," Robinson said. "And then I got a call the next day saying they wanted to help us further and help us get a place to live."

"Being a father myself, it obviously pulled at my heart," Engravalle told KSHB. "Walmart might see her as a criminal but I just see her as a mom going through a really difficult time."

Since the incident, there has been an outpouring of support from the community for Robinson and her daughters.