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Sometimes in life, not everything is black and white. What we’re told is wrong, like stealing, can come from a place of desperation rather than a place of malice.

For one man in Florida, an entire community found their compassion to help him out after he was accused of stealing diapers from Walmart.

The Winter Haven Police Department had posted photos to its Facebook page, asking the community for their help in catching the man.

Photo: Pixabay/BruceEmmerling

Instead, the help they received from the community was entirely not what was expected. As it turned out, the father of two was shopping at Walmart for wipes and diapers when he experienced something embarrassing. His card was declined.

It was declined multiple times, as he tried several different cards. The man left the store and returned with yet another card, but it was also declined. Not knowing what else to do, the man simply left the store without paying for the items.

Photo: flickr/Hazel Nicholson

The police department reached out to the community for help identifying the man, writing in their post, “So when your card is declined and you try another one with the same result, that is NOT license to just walk out with the items anyway. He scans the items, attempts to pay and the card is declined several times. He walks out of the store leaving the items behind… He comes back in with a different card. That card was also declined several times. BUT… he decides to take the items anyway.”

That is when the community decided not to turn the man in, but rather to reach out to the police department in hopes to help.

One person wrote, “Doubt I will get a response but I will pay for these items as long as you leave this man alone.”

Photo: flickr/7C0

Someone else commented, “While I don’t condone stealing why don’t y’all step up and see how you can help this dad instead of berating him. I’ll help pay for the diapers and wipes.”

The department became overwhelmed by hundreds of comments of a similar nature, and Walmart ended up dropping the charges.

Later, a spokesperson for the police department reached out online to provide an update.

Photo: Pixabay/AliciaZinn

The statement read, “We know everyone is enthralled with the case of the Walmart shopper who walked out without paying after three attempts with three different cards. We did receive a tip of his identity this morning and we made contact with him. We also have been speaking with Walmart and they have signed a waiver of prosecution, meaning no charges will be filed. We delivered this news to the citizen. We also told him of numerous resources available to include the Police Department. We offered assistance and he declined assistance. Thank you to all of the caring citizens offering help.”

Many people continued to criticize the department, saying that they did the kind thing because of pressure from the community. We’re just glad the community was there to protect the man trying to care for his kids!

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