Florida Cop Discusses Web Fame Following Kind Deed to Shoplifter

Vicki Thomas discusses the reaction to her kind deed of buying a shoplifter much-needed groceries.
6:55 | 10/24/13

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Transcript for Florida Cop Discusses Web Fame Following Kind Deed to Shoplifter
This is a special. I'm tired and is the new York and this is an ABC news digital special report caught. By -- publix supermarket manager trying to shoplift hundreds of dollars of groceries Jessica roadless thought. She was headed to jail that is where Miami Dade police officer Vickie Thomas comes in Thomas asked why. I was twelve year old daughter explains. What -- -- the actually influence. -- -- -- he. After -- told her story officer Thomas knew what she had to do you. And made the decision to buy her some questions because arresting her was even solve the problems -- children -- And -- -- and -- and pictures. Eight Q that the bottom of the hour. And we're -- think Vickie Thomas Miami officer for joining us right now officer Thomas. Tell about how this unfolded you got a call about a possible shoplifting case and where is miserable is being held near arrived. -- -- -- held in the back room where they keep most of groceries and stuff I guess that's where they put their shoplifters. -- and when -- that shopping cart full of groceries. Coming. Snapped in. Yeah I was shocked. I've seen many shoplifters 12 items three possibly but never a whole cart full of groceries. And that shocked me and that's why Astor while would you do that yet you know eaten her -- -- -- I'm -- her reply is what what touched me. Advocate -- say I'm sure you've seen a lot of hard cases on the job what did you react differently to this one. Com I'm not -- maybe it was because I'm a mom may be biko's. You know I've had financial issues as well sometimes living paycheck to paycheck so I could understand. Why she felt she had to do -- she had to do. Now when you explain to her your decision that she wasn't going to go to jail. And that in fact you had decided to actually help her. What did she say had a -- react. Well explain tour that she was being. Arrested buddy I was going to release are on scene. She had no idea that I was -- going to buy our groceries I asked her to wait with my partner and I told her I'd be right back. I -- now and she didn't know what I had ansari. Don't go ahead it's a little bit difficult sometimes when we do this over the Airways says we are please continue. She didn't -- what I had done until I walked out with a -- grocers. -- Out you did mention and you've made it very clear that you did technically arrestor so what does that entail exactly. Because she committed a misdemeanor. She had no past full are shoplifting prior. She wasn't a flight risk she had idea I could identify who she was. I had discretion on whether -- Needed to take her to that jail to physically take -- to the jail or just have her appear when state attorney summons her. He think that you're responding the way you did with kindness taught her a better lesson and perhaps throwing the book at her. I sure hope so I think she's a good person she was -- desperate. And didn't know where to goal I also educated her on food banks. And that because I part of my job is to prevent not a crime from happening so hopeful I did that. The -- manager react when you told him that she would be released. In this situation and that you -- gonna pay for her groceries. He didn't know either he was used very kind to her he was trying to. Console -- you know with words as well but he had a job to do and it was a lot of groceries but -- had taken. He didn't know I didn't tell him I was gonna do -- I just did it. At any decided to driver home what did you see when you arrived tat what was the reaction of her family. That was the greatest joy I could've had the little boys came out and she told -- the officer has bought us groceries. And they dug through that -- like it was Christmas morning and it it was a thrill. It really is coming to see I mean even kids to. Who aren't. Hungrier. And at risk of going -- -- very excited when mom comes home with groceries but eight. You said that the way they reacted really touched you. A great deal. I of course at bottom my grand children if they were in a similar situation. I was to see them just ripped through those bags and I'd like I want this I want that. It was -- there every penny. Now a lot of people have been very touched by what you've done you also have your share of critics did you feel like you risk getting in trouble by. Putting yourself in a situation where you -- help somebody even -- you get all be the technical work just as you should -- as an officer in the fact that you. Got some attention for doing this were you concerned that you might get some flak for. No not really I work for a fantastic department. I worked there for 23 -- so I know what my job is and what I'm allowed to do. And they are very very supportive you know it's interesting in reading up on you and what happened there. This isn't something that's terribly uncommon. -- I've done it before and I've known other offices to do it. It's just we don't ever say anything about it we just do it and go on to the next column that's kind of what -- did this time. It just happened that my lieutenant asked about it and I told -- happen in. Here I am. You said you hope Jessica -- was doesn't do this again -- Obviously we have no way of knowing she's someone in desperate situation. That -- -- make -- any promises any any. Statements of paying it forward. She asked me if she could dumb -- form later and I said the only thing I want. Issue to help someone else when your on your feet. Those only thing I was concerned about. And she made the promise that she would do that and she's gotten a job so hopefully bell curve -- them. Well Miami Dade police officer Vickie Thomas thank you very much for joining us from of course that's for sure -- apparently thinks -- was well. This has been an ABC news digital special report on -- Hernandez New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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