'We are people first and cops second:' Police help woman caught stealing food

Officers returned to the woman's house with $140 in groceries.

— -- Two North Carolina police officers are being hailed for helping a mother in need who was caught shoplifting food for her child.

The Hillsborough Police Department said Senior Corporal Keith Bradshaw and Officer First Class Candace Spragins responded to a report of a woman stealing groceries from Food Lion on Saturday.

The responding officers located the woman at her home, and she returned the $36 worth of food she had stolen for herself and her child, police said.

Bradshaw and Spragins delivered the items to her home and were later hailed by the community when their story was shared on Facebook.

"Sometimes police work is not cut and dry. We are people first and cops second," the post read.

The Hillsborough Police Department has asked people who want to help the family to donate food or funds to local food banks and social services "to ensure that maximum gain be achieved from this random act of kindness."

"We had an overwhelming outpouring of offers to help her and we are referring all offers to local food banks, shelters, and social services for foster children," Hillsborough Police Patrol Commander Lieutenant Davis Trimmer told ABC News. "[She] has gotten help and will be directed to programs that are local that can assist her in the future."

The woman has been charged with misdemeanor larceny, Trimmer said, and a court date has not yet been set.