Police arrest mother of three when she steals from store – when reason is revealed, everything changes

It may sound obvious, but not everybody in the world is able to put three meals a day on the table.

So what do you do if the kids are hungry, there’s no one to ask for help and you need to support your family?

Mom of three Theresa West saw no other way then to steal food from a store – but she never could have prepared herself for how the police would react when they discovered her crime.

It was early November that police Keith Bradshaw and Candace Spragins received a call to investigate a theft at food store Food Lion in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

The police soon traced the culprit to her home – a mom of three named Theresa West.

But when the police discovered the reason for the crime, everything changed.


Theresa tells the story herself in an interview with The Herald-Sun. She had tried asking for help – but three days later there was still no food on the table.

The desperate mom of three simply saw no other way out. So she stole some basic essentials, that cost a total of 36 dollars, to support her children.

“This was not a crime out of greed but one seen as necessary by a mother trying to feed a child,” Hillsborough Police Department wrote in a post on their Facebook page.


The police were of course forced to do their job and issued a fine to Theresa, who also returned the food she had stolen to the store.

But later that evening the police came to her home again… with their arms full of food.

The police had gone back to the store themselves and used their own money to buy groceries to a total cost of 140 dollars!


Meat, fruit, vegetables, and basic commodities… it was all there.

A simple gesture – but what it means to this family can hardly be put into words.

“Sometimes police work is not cut and dry. We are people first and cops second. More often than not, compassion for our #communitypartners shows through. This IS #HillsboroughPolicing, and Senior Corporal Brashaw and Officer Spragins should be commended for it,” Hillsborough Police Department wrote.


“Neither of them wanted anyone to know about this, so please show them some love,” they concluded in their post.

And the response was overwhelming. People stepped up to the challenge – and generous gifts to those in need came flooding in.

Now the police are appealing to anyone who wants to help them donate food to local community organizations!

They’re in the community to keep us safe and prevent crimes, but the police truly do so much more than that.

Now we want to help by sharing this story, to honor all the police officers out there who do a fantastic job taking care of those in need! 

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