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Mounties give desperate Burnaby shoplifter a break

*This story has been updated. The RCMP say they erred in the age of the suspect.* A man picked up for shoplifting food at a North Burnaby Safeway got more than he bargained for from local Mounties. Police got a call Wednesday just before 1:30 p.m.
groceries

*This story has been updated. The RCMP say they erred in the age of the suspect.*

A man picked up for shoplifting food at a North Burnaby Safeway got more than he bargained for from local Mounties.

Police got a call Wednesday just before 1:30 p.m. for a shoplifter at a store in the 4400 block of Hastings Street, according to Burnaby RCMP.

Store staff said they had seen a man select a few items of food and leave without paying.

They said the man had walked toward a nearby bus stop on Hastings.

Mounties quickly located the suspect, a man in his 50s, and detained him for theft.

He wasn’t charged, though.

After reviewing his police history – which was “not at all extensive,” according the RCMP – and hearing that he had stolen food because he didn’t have any money and didn’t know what else to do, officers went back into the store and paid for $50 in groceries for him.

They also gave him information about the local food bank.

"In this instance our officers used their discretion and realized that this was someone who had fallen on hard times," RCMP Cpl. Mike Kalanj told the NOW. "The officers involved were happy to help out a member of our community, and we hope that this act of kindness helps him over the Christmas holidays."

No charges are pending against the man.

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