Sometimes, when we witness someone making a bad decision, it’s worth it to dig a little deeper—since the reality of the situation might be entirely different than what we were expecting.
That’s exactly what one Toronto cop did when he caught a teenager shoplifting last week. And that decision led to an unexpectedly happy ending and a second chance for someone going through a hard time.
On Sunday, Constable Niran Jeyanesan and his partner were called to a Walmart in northern Toronto after an 18-year-old boy was caught allegedly attempting to shoplift a long-sleeve shirt, tie and socks. Since that’s not exactly the typical shoplifting haul of a teenager, Jeyanesan decided to sit down with the young man and ask him a few extra questions about his situation and motivations.
“He was very remorseful, very ashamed,” Jeyanesan told the Globe and Mail about the shoplifter.
As it turns out, the teen’s father had become seriously ill, and the family had recently lost their home after they could no longer pay the bills. The 18-year-old wanted to help his parents and siblings out, and had managed to land a job interview for a service industry job—but he didn’t have any professional clothes to wear to the interview.
“This young person has been facing his own difficulty in life and he was looking to straighten all that by providing for his family and trying to get a job,” Jeyanesan told CP24. “Having a conversation with him, he didn’t have any resources, any other way to go about this. I think he really wanted to attend that interview and I don’t think he knew how else to go about this.”
Officers took the young man to a police station for more questioning, but Jeyanesan stayed behind at the Walmart, where he purchased the clothing the teenager had tried to steal. When the 18-year-old went to recover his belongings as he left the station, he was handed the new clothing as well, without fanfare.
It’s heartwarming to hear of such a happy ending to a story that could have had a very different outcome. There’s been no word on how the teen’s job interview went—but we’ve all got our fingers crossed for him that he’ll get the job.
Everyone deserves a second chance; kudos to Jeyanesan for providing one to someone in need.