Donations pour in for mom, daughters caught shoplifting diapers - KCTV5

Donations pour in for mom, daughters caught shoplifting diapers

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Donations have been pouring in for Sarah Robinson and her girls after the story of an officer stepping in to pay for necessary items she stole went viral. Donations have been pouring in for Sarah Robinson and her girls after the story of an officer stepping in to pay for necessary items she stole went viral.
ROELAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

The story of a Kansas City mom resorting to shoplifting to provide for her family and the police officer who bought the items for her instead of taking her to jail has gone viral.

Many in the community now want to help the woman and her six girls who have been through hardship after hardship.

“My wife said she saw the story that you guys put on and I watched it and said ‘Wow, she's really going through a hardship’ and we thought ‘If this would help, that's good, you know?’ Every little bit helps," said Eladio Valdez Jr. as he walked into the Roeland Park police station Friday with his wife Toni Valdez. 

Sarah Robinson was caught shoplifting at the Roeland Park Walmart. Her six girls are ages 16, 15, 12, four and two year old twins and she said her two year old twin daughters desperately needed diapers.   

Robinson was with her 12-year-old daughter when she grabbed diapers, shoes and clothes from the store and tried to leave without paying for them, but she was caught by the store manager.

Roeland Park Police Officer Mark Engravalle was called to the scene and said what he found was a sight even the trained officer couldn’t bear to see.

“She was crying, her 12 year old daughter was crying, she thought her mom was going to go to jail,” Engravalle said. “When I asked her if she had money to purchase the items, she said, no and I noticed the girls had no shoes.”

The officer ticketed Robinson for the theft, but he also bought each of the six girls a pair of shoes from his own pocket. Then he bought two large boxes of diapers and wipes.

"I thought about my children. Criminally people might view that as wrong, but morally her heart was in the right place to take care of her children," Engravalle said.

After hearing the story of the Robinson family’s plight and the kindness of the officer, help began pouring in from all over the community.

“It's a sad situation in America that situations like this have to happen, but they happen for a reason and me and my wife said we want to do our part and help out a little if we could," Valdez Jr. said.

He and his wife weren’t alone in wanting to donate to the family.

“It's a very touching story, but I have no doubt here in the Midwest if somebody needs help all you got to do is ask and we'll be there to help. That's the way it's been for 44 years. It's a wonderful feeling, it's a wonderful community to have that kind of support for people,” said Roeland Park Police Department spokesperson John DeMoss.

KMBZ’s Scott Parks of the talk radio show Dana and Parks dropped off hundreds of donations to the mom from their listeners Friday morning. Robinson broke down in tears in her overwhelmed response.

“It’s a new start for all of us,” she said.

KCMO Talk Radio will also be at the Roeland Park Police station, 4600 W 51st St #100, Roeland Park, KS, Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon to accept monetary, check and gift card donations as well as non-perishable supplies such as diapers and clothing.

Monetary donations can also be made at The Mission Bank, 5115 Roe Blvd. At the bank a donation account has been set up for the Robinson family.

Roeland Park police say this is the first time they’ve caught someone stealing for basic necessity, but Robinson’s story is not new. They say any family who needs help can simply ask an officer. They have numerous resources to help families. 

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