Ethical Eating

Oklahoma Woman One-Ups Florida Cop, Buys Thief's Groceries

It's against the law to steal. And it's Miami cop Vicki Thomas' job to make sure people obey this law and every other one on the books. But when the middle-aged cop came across a desperate mother of three stealing groceries at a Publix in Cutler Bay last month, she didn't handcuff her; she took the mom back inside and paid for $100 worth of her groceries.

From the face-eating zombie to a blackface Trayvon Martin costume, Florida men and women are notorious for their unique brand of newsworthiness. And as if Florida, of all the states, couldn't have used a chance to rejoice in its 15 minutes of positive, heartwarming fame, an Oklahoma woman had to go and one-up us.

After having her wallet pick-pocketed at the grocery store, Jessica Eaves of Guthrie, Oklahoma, spotted the thief on a nearby aisle. And instead of yelling at the top of her lungs for security, she did the strangest thing and bought the man all of his groceries.

See also: Miami Cop Buys Groceries for Desperate Mom Caught Shoplifting Food

"As I saw him, a Scripture came to me from Luke, which basically says, 'If someone should take your cloak, you should give them your shirt as well,'" Eaves told the Huffington Post.

Then Eaves, emboldened with Scripture, approached the thief calmly. She told the wallet-snatcher if he returned her wallet to her, she would forgive him and take him to the cashier and pay for his groceries. If he didn't, she would call police.

But it didn't come to that. And the man began to cry.

Eaves, a mother of four and leader of her church's outreach team, had $28 in her wallet at the time. The man's groceries cost $27.

And there you have it, just when Florida thought it doesn't get any better than a cop buying groceries for a mom shoplifting groceries, a woman in Oklahoma goes and spends all but $1 in her wallet to pay for the groceries of the thief who just pick-pocketed that wallet.

Don't worry, Florida. We'll learn to turn the other cheek soon, and even if we don't, with winter coming, we'll have something to brag to those other goody-two-shoes states soon.



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Jess Swanson is a staff writer at New Times. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami’s School of Communication and wrote briefly for the student newspaper until realizing her true calling: pissing off fraternity brothers by reporting about their parties on her crime blog. Especially gifted in jumping rope and solving Rubik’s cubes, she also holds the title for longest stint as an unpaid intern in New Times history. She left the Magic City for New York to earn her master’s degree from Columbia University School of Journalism, where she spent a year profiling circumcised men who were trying to regrow their foreskins for a story that ultimately won the John Horgan Award for Critical Science Journalism. Terrified by pizza rats and arctic temperatures, she quickly returned to her natural habitat.
Contact: Jess Swanson