By Crystal Bonvillian, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
TORONTO — A Canadian shoplifter started a new job on Monday, thanks to the kindness of a police officer who chose to help him instead of booking him into jail.
Constable Niran Jeyanesan of the Toronto Police Service was called last week to a Walmart, where he found the 18-year-old man in the custody of store security officers. The items he had tried to lift included a dress shirt, a tie and socks.
“These are not usual items for someone to steal, so I was intrigued by it,” Jeyanesan said in a news item from the Police Service. “He was apprehensive to talk about it, but he began to open up.”
Jeyanesan told the BBC that he and his partner learned that the young man had an important job interview, but had nothing suitable to wear. The man’s father was sick and unable to work, so he had taken it upon himself to help his family.
“This young person has been facing his own difficulties in life, and he was looking to straighten out all that by providing for his family and trying to get a job,” Jeyanesan said. “This individual didn’t have any resources. He wanted to go get that job. That was in his mind. I think he truly made a mistake.”
Jeyanesan and his partner took the young man and the clothes to the police station, Toronto Police Service officials said. After consulting detectives and talking to the man’s father, they made the decision not to press charges.
The teen called Jeyanesan after his interview to let him know that he got the job, the Police Service’s news piece said.
Jeyanesan told the BBC that the teen’s father also has a new job, thanks to some friends who were willing to help out.
The officer, who has been on the force for three years, was surprised by the attention his act of kindness received, Police Service officials said. He considered it his chance to made a small difference in someone’s life.
“As police officers, we want to solve the problem,” Jeyanesan said. “In many cases, charging someone is the best way to solve the problem. Sometimes, it’s not the best solution.”