The compassion showed by a Miami police officer is amazing, and is directly helping a hungry family eat today.  Instead of arresting a shoplifting mom, Officer Vicki Thomas ended up buying $100 worth of food for her and her family.

The mother of 3 admitted that she shoplifted the groceries-- she had no money left to feed her children who are 2,6, and 12 years old.

According to police, she walked out pushing a cart filled with $300 worth of groceries for which she did not pay.

When the woman told Officer Vicki Thomas that her children were hungry, the officer decided not to take her into custody.

After she ran her criminal history and found nothing major, Thomas charged her with a misdemeanor and bought her $100 worth of groceries.  Thomas said, "Arresting her wasn't going to solve the problem with her children being hungry."

This helps give new meaning to "Protect and Serve."

 WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miam Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco