Constable Niran Jeyanesan is now being commended for not arresting the man, but sending him off with the items he nicked fully paid for by the officer.
When the officer learned the young man had tried to steal a shirt, tie, and socks for a job interview, he paid for the items the man had tried to steal and let him off.
Constable Niran Jeyanesan and his partner were called to a Walmart in the Toronto’s north end on Sunday evening for a reported theft, the store’s security had apprehended the 18-year-old as he tried to steal a shirt, tie and socks.
On interrogation, Jeyanesan learned the shoplifter wanted the outfit for an upcoming job interview, but didn’t have the means to pay for them.
“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 said.
The officers decided to let the man go without charge and proceeded to buy the clothes for him.
Speaking on his action following critic letting off a shoplifter and even rewarding his action, Jeyanesan said it became clear to him that the man was trying for a second chance in life.
“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,” he said.
Staff Sgt. Paul Bois of the Toronto Police Service said he thinks Jeyanesan made the right choice.
“I think the officer did a fantastic job. He exercised his discretion, definitely showed some humanity in dealing with this particular individual,” he told the media.
Bois said every case they come across is different and in this one, Jeyanesan learned of the man’s full story and wanted to help him.
“And I think collectively, that’s why we are all here doing this job,” Bois said.
“We need to make a positive difference in people’s lives. I think he did.”