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Retail Worker Busts Shoplifter — Then Sees Items He Stole & Breaks Down.

christmas eve shoplifter

The true spirit of Christmas lies in giving, not receiving.

On Christmas Eve 2016, Melanie Wilson was wrapping up her shift at a large retailer when a customer approached her to let her know that they’d seen a man shoplifting. The man’s pockets were bulging as he headed out the door and into the parking lot. Even though Melanie was tired from working all day, she knew she had to follow him outside to retrieve the store’s property.


She confronted the man at his truck, and he begged her not to call the police.

Melanie told him that she’d let him go if he’d just give back the stolen merchandise, and they agreed he would do it as long as it was in a private place – he dreaded the judgemental stares. She agreed to help him preserve his dignity, and they quietly returned to the store.

There, he emptied his pockets. Melanie couldn’t believe what she was seeing.

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The man, whose name was Shawn, had filled his pockets with Christmas items like small toys, Scotch tape, decorations, and candy. It was clear that he had stolen the goods to give to his family.


“Did you steal this stuff for your kids?” Melanie asked. The picture in her mind was starting to click into place, and she turned out to be absolutely right. Shawn had three kids at home; two of his own, plus his nephew. He had no money and was just trying to give them a little taste of Christmas.

Melanie knew instantly what she had to do.

She took all of the items to the register – it came to around $75 – and she paid for it herself. The woman behind Shawn in line overheard the conversation and offered to buy him a few other items, too. The spirit of Christmas was certainly alive and well in the store that day!


Later, Melanie went one step further and handed Shawn a $25 Walmart gift card that she’d intended to give to a friend. Shawn was so moved, he started to cry. “I just can’t believe this is happening.”


As Melanie wept in her car as she shared the story, she confessed that the experience had moved her in life-changing ways.

“I don’t want anyone to tell me there is no God. There is a God, and he works in the most amazing ways. And He has touched me today. I’m not even a real religious person, but you can feel it in your heart, that’s all there is to it. You feel it in your heart. Merry Christmas.”

Watch Melanie’s inspiring story below, and be sure to share it to spread the miracle of Christmas giving this season.

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