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Strangers Offer To Pay For Florida Man Accused Of Stealing Diapers From Walmart So He Doesn’t Get Arrested

Photo: Winter Haven Police
Florida man stealing diapers and baby wipes

A Florida police department is facing serious social media backlash after asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who stole diapers and baby wipes from a Walmart.

The Winter Haven Police Department posted images to their Facebook page from store surveillance cameras. The images showed a middle-aged man in the store with two young children and a cart of diapers and wipes.

Facebook users defended the Florida man accused of stealing diapers.

Though the police intended to catch the man via a Facebook post, commentors had other ideas. 

The man had scanned the items at a self-checkout register in an attempt to purchase all of the items he needed but the two different credit cards he attempted to use had both declined several times.

After trying with the first card, the man apparently left the store with his children and came back without them to try again with a different card, only for that one to decline as well.

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“So when your card is declined and you try another one with the same result, that is NOT license to just walk out with the items anyway,” police said.

At that point the man left the store with the diapers and wipes without paying, the police department wrote in the Facebook post.

“He was seen entering a white SUV, possibly a Chevy Trailblazer. Anyone recognize him? Please call Sgt. Hall at 863-291-5736,” the department wrote.

Immediately after the call to identify the man was posted on the police department’s Facebook, comments began flooding in criticizing the Winter Haven Department.

Many people found it distasteful for the police to publicize a theft of diapers as if the man had stolen something expensive and valuable, like a television.

“WHPD what happened to protect & serve. While I don’t condone stealing, why don’t y’all step up and see how you can help this dad instead of berating him. I’ll help pay for the diapers and wipes,” one person commented.

“You’re acting like he stole a TV. He took DIAPERS. This is disgusting. Do you have nothing better to do?” another person wrote.

The Winter Haven Police Department eventually posted an update on their Facebook page stating that the local Walmart where the man stole the items would not be filing charges against him. 

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Walmart signed a waiver of prosecution, though when the police initially posted the theft, they were made aware that the company had a zero-tolerance policy for stealing and wanted the man to be arrested.

Police also made contact with the man and told him he would not be facing charges for the theft.

“We delivered this news to the citizen. We also told him of numerous resources available to include the Police Department. We offered assistance and he declined assistance. Thank you to all of the caring citizens offering help," the department said on Facebook.

It was even revealed that people from across the country even called Winter Haven Police and Walmart offering to pay for the items so the charges would be dropped.

It is amazing to see people wanting to help the man purchase diapers and wipes for his children, and the good deeds done by the public in helping the man not receive criminal charges.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.