Miami police officer Vicki Thomas recently stopped a mother of three from shoplifting $300 worth of food from a supermarket.
When Thomas learned that Jessica Robles was facing great financial difficulties and had no food in her house to feed her children, she spent $100 of her own money on groceries for the woman's family.
"I made the decision to buy her some groceries because arresting her wasn't going to solve the problem with her children being hungry," Thomas told WSVN.
Thomas ran Robles' criminal record and saw that she was not a habitual shoplifter, so she only charged the struggling mom with a misdemeanour.
"She asked, 'Do you even have food at the house?' And I looked at her in her face, and I told her, 'Not at all,'" recalled Robles, who frequents her local food bank and is currently looking for work.
The Miami-Dade police department supported Thomas' decision to help out.
"Police officers do have discretion, and what Thomas did was completely in bounds," Robin Pinkard, a public information officer for the Miami-Dade police force told AOL Jobs.
Robles' children showed their appreciation for the compassionate cop's good deed.
Robles' 12-year-old daughter, Anais, tearfully thanked Thomas for the much-needed groceries, while her younger brothers rummaged through the grocery bags like they were Christmas presents.
"Thank you so very much for doing it for us, and we're very thankful," Anais said.
Thomas told WSVN that witnessing the excitement of Robles' two young sons over the food was worth the $100.
"The only thing I asked of [Robles] is, when she gets on her feet, that she help someone else out," Thomas said, "and she said she would."