A South Florida mom was caught shoplifting, but police and the public are now helping her feed her family.
A South Florida mother who was caught shoplifting this week is now receiving help from the public to feed her family.
Jessica Robles, a struggling single mother of three, was caught shoplifting $300 worth of groceries at a South Florida Publix store by Miami-Dade police officer Vicki Thomas, WSVN Channel 7 in Miami reports.
Saying the act was out of desperation, Thomas decided to not take Robles into custody, charging her with a misdemeanor and a notice to appear in court instead. Thomas then decided to purchase $100 worth of groceries for Robles and her three children -- a 12-year-old daughter and two younger boys, ages 2 and 5.
"I made the decision to buy her some groceries because arresting her wasn't going to solve the problem with her children being hungry," Thomas told WSVN.
After the story aired locally Monday, viewers across South Florida reached out to help Robles.
Mayra Lapierre saw the piece and decided to offer Robles a $700 shopping spree at Walmart, with $200 coming from Lapierre and $500 from Restoration 1 of Miami, a water and fire damage restoration service company.
When Robles was done with her shopping spree, the remaining $271 was given to her, in cash, by Lapierre.
"I've been there," Lapierre told WSVN about being a single mother. "I've had plenty of times where I've had to say [to] my kids, '[Drink] a glass of water, let's go.'"
Viewer John Challenor interviewed Robles for a job with PhoneDoctor.com, a Miami-based company that installs business phone lines. She was offered a customer service representative position where she will be answering phones and taking messages.
Robles told WSVN that her children "will never go hungry again," thanks to the help of some local good samaritans.
"There's no words I could tell you right now," she said. "I'm grateful that you took the time and helped somebody out, especially somebody like me."