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Heartwarming moment generous cop buys groceries for an Arkansas couple after they were caught shoplifting with their kids at a Walmart before Christmas holidays

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 1/4/2020 Lauren Edmonds For

Field Training Officer Kenneth Martin of Arkansas purchased a family's groceries after the parents were caught shoplifting food items at a Walmart

Field Training Officer Kenneth Martin of Arkansas purchased a family's groceries after the parents were caught shoplifting food items at a Walmart
© Provided by Daily Mail

A generous police officer called to a theft at a Walmart paid for the couple's groceries after they were caught shoplifting with their kids just before Christmas.

Field Training Officer Kenneth Martin said he was purchasing games for a Toys for Tots event when he got the call about an unidentified couple trying to steal goods from the superstore in Arkansas.    

Although the moments leading up to the incident were not captured, body-cam footage shows Martin purchasing the family's goods at the customer service checkout. 

'Ring it all up again so I can pay for it. They're stealing food and they've got kids,' he says to the women behind the counter. 

Martin reveals that he will have to take the father to jail, but the wife and children will be released.  

'I have to take him to jail, but I don't have to make the kids think I'm an a******.'

He then goes on to jokingly tell the cashiers, 'don't let people know I'm a nice guy'.

Footage shows Martin walking to meet the couple and their children near the Walmart's front entrance.  

He places the bag of groceries inside the family's cart before reminding the couple to ask for help instead of attempting to steal things. 

'I took care of these for you, ok?' he said. 'I understand this is food and things that you need, but ask for some help. Don’t do this with these babies,' he said. 

Martin allows the mother to leave, wishing her and the children happy holidays , before detaining the father in a nearby office. 

For his generosity, Martin was later given the police department's Employee of the Month award.

Fort Smith City Director Neal Martin praised Martin on Facebook, saying his initial congratulations 'doesn’t even begin to describe why Field Training Officer Martin deserves this award.'

The Fort Smith City Director then reveals Martin's written nomination came from a fellow officer who deemed him deserving of Employee of the Month after witnessing the compassionate act while off-duty.  

'I was off duty and walking into the Wal-Mart at 2425 Zero St. As I entered the building, I noticed loss prevention had just stopped two adults who also had two young children with them,' the officer wrote.

'FTO Martin's act of kindness is a true example of what humanity is all about. He did this out of compassion for the kids, with no intention of being recognized for his actions,' he continued. 

'For this, I am honored to nominate FTO Martin for Employee of the Month. His actions were a representation of what we should all strive for.'

Impressed social media users praised Martin for his kindness and generosity on Facebook. 

'That is truly a wonderful story few people would have done this especially in today's world it shows the type of heart and conscience he has,' one person wrote. 

One woman who said she's been on the receiving end of Martin's good deeds agreed with the honor. 

'As a beneficiary of his awesomeness, this is a well deserved honor!' she said.

'This touched my heart because I have been there,' one woman said, 'this wonderful human being paid for their groceries... God Bless. He is a wonderful example of Loving thy neighbor!'

Martin began his career at the Fort Smith Police Department in August 2015 after 12 years of prior law enforcement experience in Arizona and South Carolina. 

He is a member of the Honor Unit Guard and assigned to Troop 2 in the Patrol Division.  

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