A Toronto police officer decided to help out an 18-year-old who was allegedly caught trying to steal a shirt, tie and socks.
Const. Niran Jeyanesan said he and his partner arrived at a Walmart in response to a reported theft on Sunday night, according to CP24.
Once on the scene, he learned that the teenager — who was apprehended by a loss prevention officer — was trying to get clothes for a job interview.
“This young person has been facing his own difficulties in life and he was looking to straighten out all that by providing for his family and trying to get a job,” Jeyanesan said.
Never miss a local story.
So the officer decided to purchase the clothing for him.
"This individual didn't have any resources,” Jeyanesan said. "He wanted to go get that job. That was in his mind. I think he truly made a mistake."
Paul Bois, the staff sergeant for Jeyanesan, said he supported the officer’s decision because “arresting (the 18-year-old) wouldn't have been in the best interests of anyone.”
“I reacted very positively to the news; all issues were resolved by the action the officer took,” he said to BBC. "It reiterates our goal of being positive role models in the community."
“Every circumstance is different and in this particular case the individual had undergone some personal difficulties and the officer wanted to help him out with that,” Bois said in an interview with CP24, “and I think collectively that’s why we are all here doing this job.”
It’s not the first time an officer has helped out a suspect in need.
Last month, a young mom in Maryland was caught trying to steal two packs of diapers worth about $15 because she couldn't afford them. So Bennett Johns, an officer who responded to the crime, bought the diapers for her, according to CNN.
In another case, Officer Che Milton, from Atlanta, encountered a sobbing 12-year-old named Heaven Staples, who was caught stealing shoes from a discount store.
But the child told Milton that she was stealing the shoes for her 5-year-old sister, who needed them, according to CNN.
Once he visited the house — and the saw the conditions the 12-year-old and her five siblings lived in — the officer knew he had to help.
Three months later, police officers unloaded boxes of clothes, food, diapers and household supplies at Staples’ house.
"I'm here to help protect and serve," Milton said said, "and that is what I'm going to continue to do."