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Police deliver groceries to woman caught stealing eggs

A video of Helen Johnson hugging Officer William Stacy following her failed shoplifting attempt went viral on Facebook.

By Ben Hooper

TARRANT, Ala., Dec. 11 (UPI) -- An Alabama police officer who bought a carton of eggs for a woman caught stealing food for her family showed up to her house with truckloads of food.

Helen Johnson, 47, of Tarrant, said her family hadn't bought food for two weeks when she went to the Dollar General store Saturday and attempted to steal five eggs in her pockets because she was more than 50 cents short for a carton.

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The eggs broke in her pockets and she admitted to store workers that she swiped the eggs.

Tarrant police Officer William Stacy arrived at the scene and determined store officials did not want to press charges against Johnson, who lives with her two daughters, a niece, and two grandchildren aged 1 and 3.

Stacy bought a carton of eggs for Johnson and released her with a promise not to repeat her shoplifting attempt.

The conversation and ensuing hug between Johnson and Stacy was secretly filmed by witness Robert "Dollar" Tripp, whose video went viral on Facebook.

The popularity of the video led to so many calls from members of the public wanting to donate to Johnson's family that Tarrant Police Chief Dennis Reno said an extra dispatcher had to be brought in to answer phones.

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Stacy and Officer Jay Jenkins visited Johnson's home Wednesday with two truckloads of food donated by members of the public.

Johnson said the kindness shown to her by Stacy and the Tarrant Police Department has changed her life.

"My heart,'' Johnson told AL.com, "is wide open right now."

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