A Wisconsin police officer’s simple act of kindness has gone viral after he offered to buy groceries for a Wisconsin teen accused of shoplifting a pack of crackers.
Officer Roman Trimberger with the Green Bay, Wisc., police department responded to a shoplifting call Tuesday at a gas station on Green Bay’s University Avenue.
When Trimberger arrived, he discovered the suspect was a 19-year-old man who had stolen a packet of crackers to sate his hunger. According to Trimberger, the teen was so guilt-ridden he returned to the store to report his crime, at which point the store manager called police.
So the officer decided to give the teen a written warning for retail theft – before offering to buy him groceries so he could eat.
“He’s a student, he holds a part-time job, and if you’ve ever been a student before you know it’s hard to make money working on it at the same time,” Trimberger told NBC26 News in Green Bay.
The incident would have likely passed without any notice save for a bystander at the gas station, who witnessed the entire event.
In a Facebook post later that day, Kris Dhien praised the officer’s actions.
“Unfortunately yesterday when I went to the gas station I stumbled upon a young teenager in the back of a police car … in tears,” the post reads. “The clerk proceeded to tell me that he was caught stealing. The sad thing is all that it was, was a pack of crackers because I’m guessing he was hungry.”
The post quickly went viral in the Green Bay community, having been shared almost 1,500 times as of this writing.
Trimberger, who grew up in Green Bay, says he became a police officer in order to make a difference in the lives of others.
“I just thought I could hopefully make a difference in his life, help him get a leg up because it was obvious to me that he was making an effort himself,” Trimberger said.