Ohio 7-Eleven owner catches teen stealing, gives him food instead
What started as a shoplifting situation for a Toledo, Ohio, store owner ended with him showing the would-be thief kindness and paying for the food himself.
Jay Singh was working a shift at his 7-Eleven store on April 6 when he noticed a young man acting suspiciously.
Security camera footage from the store shows the man appearing to shove various snacks and food into his pants.
Singh told CBS News that he had an employee call 911 before he confronted the customer.
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“He said, ‘Oh, I’ll put it back.’ I said, ‘No, put everything on the counter. I want to see all the things that you have,'” Singh said.
After placing various food and drink onto the counter, Singh spoke with the teenager and asked him why he was stealing.
The store owner said the teen told him he was hungry and was “stealing it for myself and my younger brother.”
“I said, ‘You need food? I’ll give you food. That’s not a problem,'” Singh said.
He then began filling a bag with food for free and cancelled the 911 call.
Asked why he made the decision, Singh said that given the young man’s possible circumstances, going to jail wouldn’t help him.
“He’s a young kid. That will go on his record that he was a thief,” he said. “He cannot do anything in his life. He will not get a good job. This will not solve his hunger problem.”
Singh’s wife of almost 30 years, Neera, said the generous action is something she’s come to expect from her husband.
She said being a part of their city also means helping members of that same community.
“I’m really proud of him, and it is the true self of himself. I know him; he is very kind,” Neera said.
The whole exchange between Singh and the teen was posted on social media by a regular customer who watched the whole thing.
“He has a big heart,” Cedric Bishop said. “I thought that was just beautiful because the young man could have had a record.”
Since posting on Facebook, Bishop’s post about the exchange has been shared more than 2,700 times.
For Singh, however, all he hopes for is that the young man repays the generosity he showed to someone else in the future.
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