Cop Does Heartfelt Favor for Shoplifting Mom

Officer Mark Engravalle was touched by her tough situation
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2015 4:40 PM CDT
Cop Buys $300 in Goods for Woman Caught Shoplifting
Police officer Mark Engravalle.   (Roeland Park Police Department)

A struggling mom in Kansas says her heart dropped when she was caught shoplifting this week—but a police officer may have turned her life around. Sarah Robinson, who cares for six daughters by herself, tried stealing basic necessities for her 2-year-old twin girls at a Walmart in Roeland Park, Kansas, on Monday. "I had lost my house and all of our belongings, and I don't have a job," she tells ABC News. "So I went to Walmart, grabbed clothes, shoes, diapers, wipes, and I just walked out, but they caught me." That's when officer Mark Engravalle showed up and saw some of Robinson's children walking barefoot with dirty feet. "He asked her what the situation was, and she broke down crying," says a Roeland Park public information officer.

Engraville saw she was only stealing necessities for the girls, so he released Robinson with a misdemeanor-theft citation and went back inside with her children. There, he bought the items Robinson wanted and let the girls choose their own shoes; it came to $300, Fox4ck reports. "What she did was wrong and against the law, but her heart was in the right place with wanting to help to take care of her children," says Engravalle, who has two children of his own. Now people are calling the police to offer support for Robinson, who is looking for a home and a job. "There isn't enough words in the world to thank [Engravalle] enough," says Robinson, whose husband died three years ago. "Me and my girls are indebted to him forever." (More Kansas stories.)

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