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Officer shows compassion for young teenager caught for shoplifting

Posted: 1:29 PM, Oct 11, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-12 12:15:56-04

A Facebook post is going viral, praising a Green Bay Police officer for his handling of a shoplifting case.

Officer Roman Trimberger was called to a local gas station where a teenager was being held for stealing what a witness said was a pack of crackers. The witness posted on Facebook that she saw Officer Trimberger offer to pay for the crackers because the boy did not have enough money for food.

Green Bay-based WGBA spoke with Officer Trimberger, who said he's always wanted to be a police officer because he grew up in Green Bay and wanted to help the community.

Officer Trimberger said the 19-year-old man stole crackers from a gas station, but felt guilty about it and went back to pay. The manager called police, and the young man waited for officers to arrive. When Officer Trimberger offered to pay for the crackers, the teenager would not let him. However, he told Officer Trimberger that he only had a few dollars to his name.

On Tuesday, Officer Trimberger decided to buy the boy a bag of groceries and bring them to his home.

"He's a student, he holds a part-time job, and if you've ever been a student before you know it's hard to make money working on it at the same time," said Officer Trimberger. "So I just thought I could hopefully make a difference in his life, help him get a leg up because it was obvious to me that he was making an effort himself."

Officer Trimberger did give the young man a written warning for retail theft.

The bystander who witnessed the interaction posted about it on Facebook, and the post has now been shared nearly 1,000 times. The post reads:

"Kudos to the Green Bay Police department. Unfortunately yesterday when I went to the gas station I stumbled upon a young teenager in the back of a police car......in tears. The clerk proceeded to tell me that he was caught stealing. The sad thing is all that it was, was a pack of crackers because im guessing he was hungry.

I felt terrible. I wanted to buy him something and bring it to the car. I thought perhaps the officer would have driven off with him to bring him home or to the police station but to my surprise ..... brought him back into the gas station, (in tears of course cuz he got caught) and asked him to pick out some things he would like to eat.

The boy said no he didn't have to do that. But the officer insisted on buying him food. It was nice to see and it is nice to tell about the better side of our law enforcement. Since so many people are so busy ripping on them."