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


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.

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