A police sergeant is being praised for showing great kindness when he was called to arrest a man accused of stealing his son’s toys from a shop last Christmas Eve.
The man was caught on CCTV taking three wrestling figurines from a shelf at the Toyworld Central store in the north-eastern Melbourne suburb of Greensborough.
The footage then showed the man rudely walking straight out of the store without paying or stopping – but the sergeant later bought a toy for the man’s child.
“On the way out, (the suspected thief) completely ignored our person on the door who was acting as security,” said store manager Tomeeka Neil 7 News.
Members of staff were stunned by the daylight robbery and three of them ran after the man until they saw him get on a bus which they knew would pass by the local police station.
A man (pictured) was caught on CCTV taking three wrestling figurines from a shelf at the Toyworld Central store in the north-east Melbourne suburb of Greensborough.
They called the station to let them know what had happened and a short time later the sergeant stopped the bus and arrested the suspected shoplifter.
The officer collected the items from the man to return them to the store, but staff were shocked when he later returned to the store and paid $39 for one of the toys.
“He came back and actually bought one of the items to give back to the thief to give to his child for Christmas,” Ms Neil said.
The officer showed that the spirit of Christmas was alive.
“He mentioned that just because the thief was an addict or whatever he was, it didn’t mean his child had to grow up to be one,” the store manager said.
The humble sergeant did not tell anyone about the purchase of the toy and his colleagues were not even aware of his touching act until they were contacted by Channel 7.
Toyworld said theft in its stores had increased over the past 12 months, with sometimes violent consequences.’
Sales assistant Seb Molloy (19) lost a tooth after confronting a suspected thief at their Northland store when the woman punched him in the face.
‘To be honest, I never thought this would happen to me. I have seen this happen to a few of my co-workers. Yeah, it was a bit of a shock,’ he said.
However, despite his injury, he also recovered the goods.
Ms Neil has a word of warning for any would-be thieves. ‘I suggest you don’t because here at Toyworld we are very proactive about it.
“We’ll take it on and we’ll stop you,” she said.
The officer (pictured) collected the items from the man to return them to the store, but staff were shocked when he later returned to the store and paid $39 for one of the toys.