Skip to comments.Officer purchases food for man caught stealing
Posted on 02/05/2010 9:24:24 PM PST by ellery
Bozeman Police Officer Marek Ziegler was called to Vans IGA last Friday night to check on a shoplifting report.
The 33-year-old officer has been on the Bozeman force for three years. He is a K-9 handler and works nights, from about 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.
When he got to the grocery store on North Seventh Avenue, employees told Ziegler that a 32-year-old man had stuffed food and pens, pencils, maybe markers, things for his kids into his coat.
The officer arrested the man, cited him for theft and then released him.
But the story didnt end there.
Ziegler had asked the man why he had been stealing.
He was really upset, Ziegler said this week. Basically, he told me hes having a hard time and cant provide the food for his family right now, so thats why he was stealing.
Ziegler already had the mans address, but asked for the mans phone number.
I told him, Give me 15 minutes, and I went and got him some food.
Ziegler ran to Wal-Mart, picked up a few frozen pizzas and delivered them to the mans house.
Obviously, as a police officer, I have a job to do, but were still human, too, Ziegler said.
When the officer handed over the food, the man shook his hand and thanked him for understanding, Ziegler said.
And then Ziegler kept the story to himself.
However, a Chronicle reporter was at the 911 dispatch center that night. She overheard tidbits of the officers report that he was going to buy the man some food. The Chronicle sought out the story. Ziegler wasnt seeking attention for his good deed.
These guys, they just dont really brag about things like that, Acting Police Chief Marty Kent said. It wouldnt surprise me that he wouldnt say anything.
Ziegler shrugged off the idea that he had done something out of the ordinary.
Its just what we do to take care of each other, he said.
I spend a lot of time protesting (and posting about) the bad behavior that has become all too common among our union police forces.
It’s nice to post one about one of the good guys for a change.
Great story. God Bless.
I just hope the food wasn't twinkies.
this is true charity....the kind that Jesus would love.....unsolicited,person to person, done quietly without putting on airs.....
Wonderful story. Thank you for posting it.
With all the food banks, food stamps, welfare, unemployment, church charities, school supply charities, etc etc, this guy thought it was a good idea to steal from the IGA? Want to bet this wasn’t even close to the first time?
99% of stories like this never make the news. But it is nice when 1% squeaks through. Thanks for posting it!
Good poinr - so I checked, having woked in MT once upon a time.
The one food bank in town is out of chow - check their web site.
Maybe you could send them a check, being flush and all
602 Bond St
Bozeman, MT 59715
PHONE NUMBER: (406) 586-7600
Did see a part-time church based outfit trying to help, they could likely use a check as well.
You are always an ass.
Uh huh. And I also volunteered for years for our local food bank. Imagine that.
You’re still an ass.
I have a story.A woman who shops at our thrift store had a coat stealing happen against her husband.The coat was size 3 children’s.The police offered a drive home and then came back with clothes and food for the children.Charges were dropped.
Beats being a naive idiot.
Better yet, have your bud get a hold of these guys:
Salvation Army Bozeman
Bozeman, MT 59715
IF they can’t help, then here’s a backup plan:
ANd if all else fails, the gov’t has:
I second your view.
We need more like him. Heck...I need to be more like him.
Just living up to your name, eh?
Doesn't take a whole lot. Just little things like this cop did. Sometimes I get taken by a professional panhandler but in the grand scheme of things it's not worth the dollar saved to prove myself right :-)
One time in a grocery in Bellevue, WA, I was behind a young girl in the checkout just before closing time. She had a can of baby formula and a gallon of milk. She wrote a check and it didn't get accepted.
The clerk did nothing more than stare at her and I watched as disbelief spread across her face and tears welled-up in her eyes.
She started to put her wallet back in her purse to leave when I piped-up and told her I'd "lend" her the $10.00 she needed to pay for the goods. Saying that I was in that store all the time (which was a lie I was working a temp project in town) I told her to just pay me next time she saw me. You'd think she'd won the lottery.
I've done it since then but only a dollar here or there. The $10 spot was my largest "instant" donation :-) Not tooting my own horn just saying it doesn't take a lot to put a smile on someone's face.
I like you.
News flash to ellery:
There are a lot of good things leos and police staff do.
You won’t read about.
Your won’t hear about it.
Thanks though, for posting this article.
stuff it = unless, that is, you are personally aware of the person and his situation and circumstances - otherwise, you don’t know. you just think you do.
Actually, it looks like He already has.
Many cops have a teddy bear in the trunk because sometimes they have to take a daddy to jail and a kid needs consoling, and sometimes they have to tell a family daddy didn’t make it home.
Heck of a job
I believe the officer can distinguish between a run-of-the-mill thief, and a person in genuine distress. I’ve seen a lot of scams in my former occupation, but recognized when someone was sincerely in need of help.
I worked at an institution that provided daily meals for clients, who were mostly mentally ill, ex cons, and drug addicts. Once a woman was there, dressed to the max, with a little boy. She was told that underage kids were not allowed in. I went to the kitchen, fixed them meals to go, along with a food bag. The woman cried, and said she was so embarrassed to not have food. Crap happens to people all the time, and if you have the means, you help, or get out of the way.
Give a man food and he eats for a day. Theft is not an option IMO.
I cant speak for the man’s situation. But, there are alot of working poor who are not eligible for services. Maybe they make just enough to get by, but God forbid the car breaks down or you have to miss a day of work.
What a great "gotcha"! Sadly, some people are just plain negative. No matter what the story they'll manage to find something negative to say. Bummer.
Sometimes you just help.
I took my 11 year old with me and he whined and complained a lot at first. As I talked to him about their situation he got a little more enthusiastic. Then he got the job of ringing the doorbell and running like heck after we'd snuck the groceries onto the porch.
As we were driving away he said, "I actually feel a little warm inside." So, it was good all around, and I found out yesterday the husband has a new job.
You can’t fool me, I know that that is you mac daddy.
Just can’t stand for someone else to be the center of anyones attention.
Not nearly as much as one F.R, poster, his life mission is to dig up every "bad cop" story he can find and post them at F.R.
"Good cop" stories don't generally make the news, it's good to see one.
I belong to a quilt guild (65 of us), we do a lot of charity quilting. Adult bibs for an Alzhimer center (120 a year), cough pillows and quilts for the children's hospital in Memphis, for LEO's for 3 PD's who get quilts twice a year when requested for young accident/trauma victims, we send a quilt with each kid the Shriners take to the burn center, then their is the Alpha Omega House (transistion house) for recovering addict Veterans, and Valor Quilts for the wounded we've sent over 300 of those. We picked up a new charity this past week in making tiny quilts for the stillborn and preemies that didn't make it.
We know we put smiles on lots of faces we never saw. One wounded Vet thought when they loaded him on the plane to make the return flight to the states they wouldn't let him keep his and got upset...they were just trying to get him comfortable before they returned it.
Many of our ladies and 2 gentlemen pray over their creations for the unknown person who is to receive it. I know I do.
Great story. Your child learned a lesson he’ll never forget and the family got some much needed help.
You remind me of al the limp wristed do gooders here during the “runaway bride” ordeal. Prayer groups, people following every media utterance, etc, etc.
And of course the people who bitched at me when I told them her story was BS.
Next time we’ll direct the thief to your home address. I’m sure he could use your gas, a few antiques to sell, and your excess food in the fridge.
THen stealing is the answer?
DId I say one word against the officer? Or am I complaining about theft?
No stealing is not the answer. I was just pointing out that many fall thru the cracks.
Boy, your name suits you! I didn't say you said anything against the officer. I explained how some people are genuinely bad off. And, you were complaining about people who supposedly have food, who steal. That is not always true, as I tried to present it.
Still you maybe right.
I note that he had a working phone. Since phone is the first thing cut off if you don't pay the bill either his priorities are out of order or there is something missing from the story.
Stealing pens?? Or Markers? For the kiddies?
A reporter happens to be in dispatch while the officer broadcasted that he was purchasing items for the suspect...
No, he didn't.
I bet it made you feel good to tell us that.
He told his dispatcher he was taking time to go pick up some groceries for the guy. That’s just explaining his whereabouts to his employer.
The media reporter in the 911 dispatch office is the one who blabbed it.
Kudos to this good officer.
She overheard tidbits of the officers report that he was going to buy the man some food.
She "overheard"? Would that not mean the officer broadcasted what he was doing over the radio?
Why would someone concerned about feeding their family steal pens, pencils, and "maybe markers"?...
Why the story state, "Maybe markers"?
Did ya note the reporter, that was allegedly hanging around the 911 dispact center was not named?
Did ya note the thief was never named either?