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Police & Fire

Cops Buy Needy Hudson Valley Shoplifter Socks Instead Of Arresting Him

Mount Vernon Police officer buys socks for homeless shoplifter.
Mount Vernon Police officer buys socks for homeless shoplifter. Video Credit: CMVNY TV

A pair of police officers went out of their way to help a member of the community who is down on his luck and needed a helping hand in Westchester County.

Two members of the Mount Vernon Police Department were called to Dollar Tree on Saturday, May 1, where there was a report of a would-be shoplifter in possession of socks and was being temporarily detained

After arriving at the store, body camera footage of the incident released by the Mount Vernon Police Department showed Officers Christopher Cartwright and Jason Velez show the man an act of kindness after he was busted attempting to pocket the merchandise.

The man explained that he needed socks, was homeless, didn’t have a place to stay, and had been walking the street.


“You’re a little light on some socks?” Cartwright asked after patting down the man. “All right, I’ll tell you what, I’ll buy you a couple of pairs of socks though, but you (have to) stop stealing.”

Cartwright then told an employee at the dollar store that he’d buy the man $15 worth of socks, even asking if he wanted a specific color, to which the homeless man replied that any color would do.

The officer even mused that he wouldn’t be purchasing the socks if the homeless man hadn’t been so honest and forthcoming about his misdeed.


“Listen, I know how important it is to have a nice pair of socks,” Cartwright added. “Especially when you’re out running around and, you know, you’ve got nothing else going on, so we’ll get you taken care of.”

Instead of walking out in handcuffs, the man was sporting several new sets of fresh socks.

While Cartwright was being rung up for the socks, Velez directed the man to the Mount Vernon Police Department, where he said they could help him find temporary shelter to “at least give (him) a bed and a shower.”

On Facebook, the Mount Vernon Police Department praised the officers’ actions, noting that the city is “a fiercely hard-working community that never gets the positive attention it needs.”


“The community is proud and resilient and always keeps its head up and marches on towards a better tomorrow,” a post stated. “These positive incidents happen every day in our city, not only with the police, but also with our other municipal employees and with our business partners.”


“This is the norm for our Police Department, not the exception,” Mount Vernon Police Commissioner Glenn Scott added. “Another example of professional policing within the City of Mount Vernon Police Department.”

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