A woman who was recently caught shoplifting in a hypermarket received a surprise visit from the police today, 21 January.
However, instead of apprehending the woman, Petaling Jaya district police chief ACP Nik Ezanee Mohd Faisal lent her a helping hand.
According to Free Malaysia Today, the woman is a 36-year-old mother who lost her job as a babysitter, while her husband has no work due to the Movement Control Order (MCO). He works as an elevator repairman.
Before she resorted to pilfering, her three-year-old child fell sick and was hungry.
The situation drove her into desperation. She then went to a hypermarket to steal fever relief patches and some cakes.
But a security guard caught her in the act and a police report was later lodged against her.
When Nik Ezanee learnt about the case, he felt something was amiss
"The police report stated that the suspect was nabbed for stealing a roll of pandan cake, sausages, and two packs of Koolfever (fever-reducing ice patch) for her children," Malaysiakini quoted him as saying.
"So, I felt that I should go meet this suspect and ask why she did this. Because I believe that this person must be facing some problem to resort to this."
At about 10am today, the district police chief knocked on the woman's door and handed her a sack of rice and a care package from the Welfare Department.
Other basic needs and several packs of fever relief patches were also given to her.
The woman's family was overjoyed by the police's visit, especially her three young children
The woman related that her youngest child had a fever on Wednesday, 20 January, and admitted that seeing her child suffering was what drove her to resort to shoplifting.
"I only had RM50 in my pocket, and fever relief patches are expensive. At that moment, I lost all ability to think and just stuffed it with some cakes into my bag. I was thinking of using the RM50 to buy food," she told Free Malaysia Today.
The Star reported the woman as saying that her child is currently recovering well.
At the time of writing, the video showing the police visiting the woman has gone viral with over 2,200 likes and 330 shares
Speaking in the video, Nik Ezanee said the case has been classified as 'no further action' and advised the woman to not repeat the same mistake again.
"They are many channels that one can go through to get assistance," he told the 36-year-old.
"There are soup kitchens, non-governmental organisations, and the Welfare Department as well as zakat aid."
"Even non-Muslims can ask for zakat aid," he said, adding that she is welcome to seek help from the police station if she ever faces similar problems in the future.
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