It may not be an easy thing to do — free someone whom you caught red-handed stealing from your property and then give him something to eat later — but it was what Jitendra Singh, owner of a 7-Eleven store in Toledo, Ohio, did on April 6 when the shoplifting incident happened right before his eyes.
In a report, a teen, about 15 or 16 years old, was seen pocketing gums and candy from the store. When he was about to pay some of the items except the ones inside his pocket, the owner confronted him.
Singh asked the boy to take out the items or he would call the police, who by that time was already on the phone.
The boy took out all items; saying he only did it because he and his younger brother were hungry.
That made Singh cancel his report to the 911 operator.
“I said, ‘Well that’s not food. You’re stealing gum and candies. That’s just something for munching.’ I said, ‘If you’re hungry, ask me. I’ll give you food,'” Singh said.
Singh decided not to report the boy as he understood what forced him to shoplift. He said the boy has a genuine problem.
He thought if he had him reported to the authorities just because the boy only wanted to feed his brother and himself, it would ruin his life.
“At least (he) won’t go to jail. Once you go to jail, you’ll have a criminal record later in life. You’re not going to be able to get any good job or anything,” Singh said.
One of the customers, Cedric Bishop, who witnessed the incident later posted on Facebook; praising what Singh did.
Bishop said Singh gave the boy chicken drummies, sausage rolls, pizza, and water.
“I thought that was an amazing thing the owner did. I was so touched I gave the young man $10,” Bishop said. “Some young people just need to know that someone cares.”