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The woman accused of stealing eggs from a Dollar General in Alabama could have gone to jail. Instead, an act of compassion caught on camera is quickly going viral.
According to AL.com, Officer William Stacy reported to the Dollar General in Tarrant after store employees allegedly caught a woman stealing eggs.
The woman, who AL.com identifies as Helen Johnson, 47, told store management and the officer that she stole the eggs to feed her grandchildren, who were waiting in the car. Johnson told local media that her family, including her two daughters and two grandchildren ages 1 and 3, had not eaten in two days when she attempted to steal the eggs. The family's welfare check was lost in the mail and Johnson's disability check was not due to arrive yet.
Dollar General management declined to prosecute.
Officer Stacy made the woman an offer: He would buy the eggs for her if she promised not to shoplift again.
After receiving the eggs, the officer and the mother hugged. The moment was caught on camera and posted on Facebook, where it has generated over 400,000 views.
But the story does not end there. After Officer Stacy's act of kindness went viral, the entire Tarrant Police Department became involved in the welfare of the Johnson family. They signed the family up for the local toy drive and are helping coodinate food and clothing donations. The Tarrant Fire Department provided food baskets for the family.
Johnson is grateful for the generosity and kindness of law enforcement and the local community. Officer Stacy told AL.com that while he's not a fan of the spotlight, he's thankful that law enforcement is getting some positive attention.