Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Thursday 03 December |
Saint of the Day: St. Francis Xavier
home iconInspiring Stories
line break icon

When a mother is caught stealing diapers, police respond with compassion


Laurel Police Department | Facebook

Zelda Caldwell - published on 07/29/17

She had enough money for groceries, but not enough for the diapers her baby needed.

When a Maryland woman was caught stealing two packages of diapers from a grocery store, the police officer called in didn’t arrest her. Instead, he bought the mother the diapers himself, according to a CNN report.

The woman had purchased groceries but, unable to pay for the diapers her baby needed, she stole two packages worth $15. When Officer Bennett Johns was called to the scene, he recognized that the woman needed help more than anything else.

“Just out of personal kindness, he decided to go ahead and buy them,” Laurel, Maryland police spokeswoman Audrey Barnes said. “It speaks to the heart of what community policing is all about.”

Food stamps do not cover diapers, and many parents struggle to afford the $100 a month it can cost to keep a baby dry and clean. Some community organizations known as “diaper banks” have stepped up to provide diapers to churches and shelters who can best get them to their clients.

According to the CNN report, the woman was issued a citation and will have to appear in court. The city of Laurel has referred the mother to an advocacy service to help families in difficult situations.

“We want to make sure she doesn’t fall through the cracks,” Barnes said.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Andrea Bocelli
J-P Mauro
Andrea Bocelli to perform live Christmas conc...
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to t...
John Burger
Priest who volunteered for COVID-19 vaccine t...
John Paul II
Philip Kosloski
St. John Paul II's guide to a fruitful Advent
Philip Kosloski
Prayer to be watchful during Advent
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.