Wisconsin cop buys food for accused shoplifter

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – A Green Bay police officer is receiving a lot of praise online for showing compassion Sunday to a young man accused of stealing crackers.

The 19-year-old student was hungry and just wanted something to eat. After taking two packages of crackers, priced at 69 cents each, he realized it was wrong and went back into the gas station to pay for them.

The manager of the Pit Row gas station on the 1400-block of University Avenue wanted the young man to be held accountable and called police.

According to a witness, instead of taking the teenager to the police station, Officer Roman Trimberger gave him a written warning — and then took him back into the store to buy him some food.

Kris Dhein posted on Facebook, “When I went to the gas station I stumbled upon a young teenager in the back of a police car… in tears. 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…”

“I thought perhaps the officer would have driven off with him to bring him home or to the police station but to my surprise brought him back into the gas station (in tears of course, cuz he got caught) and asked him to pick out some things he would like to eat. The boy said no he didn’t have to do that. But the officer insisted on buying him food.”

Trimberger told WBAY, “He insisted I don’t buy him anything. So today I went out and got him a bag full of groceries, called him up, and I will meet with him at his new apartment.”

WBAY was there when Officer Trimberger delivered the groceries.

“I just thought I could hopefully make a difference in his life and help him get a leg up because it was obvious to me that he was making an effort to help himself,” said Trimberger.

The teen didn’t want to talk to us or be identified, but our cameras caught something that may just speak louder than words — a hug.

“If he needs anything he can give me a shout,” said Trimberger.

Dhein closed her Facebook post, “It was nice to see and it is nice to tell about the better side of our law enforcement. Since so many people are so busy ripping on them.”

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