Shoplifting mom offered 2nd chance but employer changes mind

MIAMI - A struggling mother of three who resorted to shoplifting in order to feed her kids made national headlines after a police officer bought her groceries instead of arresting her.

Jessica Robles got a second chance when a Florida telecommunications company heard about her story and offered her a job answering phones to help her get back on her feet. However, when Robles showed up to work after taking two buses and a train, the company rescinded the offer.

"(The company) said something about my background check. I didn't pass. I never had any problem with my background before, so I don't know. It's very emotional, you know," Robles said.

The company said Robles did not pass a security clearance and that they had concerns about her associates.

The company also said it received backlash on its decision to hire a shoplifter.

To make amends, the company has promised to help Robles find other job opportunities. The company said they tried to contact Robles last week to tell her the job was no longer available for her, but they were not able to make contact, according to WSVN in Miami.

Robles told the TV station that the hardest thing will be telling her children she is once again jobless.

WSVN in Miami checked Robles' background and found she has a possession of tobacco as a minor that was not prosecuted and marijuana possession back in 2004 that also was not prosecuted.

Robles was busted for shoplifting $300 worth of groceries from a South Miami-Dade Publix by Miami-Dade Police Officer Vicki Thomas. She told the officer she was desperate, she had no food at home and her children were hungry.

Thomas checked into Robles' background, realized she had no major charges and instead of arresting her, told her about food banks, churches and places to get food -- and then paid for the groceries.

"I made the decision to buy her some groceries because arresting her wasn’t going to solve the problem with her children being hungry,"  Thomas said.

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