Last Saturday morning, Greek Australian greengrocer John Kapiris, went on social media to make an emotional plea for a thief who stole potatoes from his shop asking for her as identified on CCTV, to come forward, so that he could help her.
“If you’re stealing potatoes you obviously haven’t got money to feed yourself or kids. I’m not reporting you. I just want to help you. I’m serious, come back to my shop for help,” wrote the St Bernards Fruit & Veg Market owner who posted CCTV footage to Facebook showing a young woman stealing a 5kg bag of potatoes from his store.
The woman is shown picking up a bag of potatoes and squashing them into her backpack before storming off.
“When I sat down and watched the CCTV footage, I just couldn’t believe that someone would go into all this trouble for a bag of potatoes. That’s telling me that this woman is starving or has kids to feed. She could have taken anything, but she chose potatoes, the cheapest ones, and that just really cut me. I don’t know her situation, but I really hope she finds the courage to come forward so that I can help her with vouchers or staple food items,” Mr Kapiris told Neos Kosmos.
Since posting the video, hundreds of Facebook users have congratulated John for his kindness and generosity.
“All we need is another 500 million people like you and the world will be a better place,” wrote one user.
Other users have put their hand up, offering to donate food or money to the woman.
“There are so many good people out there. It is wonderful to see everyone coming together offering to help,” said the 42-year-old owner.
Interestingly this isn’t the first time Mr Kapiris has lent a hand to someone he caught stealing.
After catching a regular customer taking a handful of eggs, Mr Kapiris, whose family originates from the island of Chios, gave the woman eggs each week.
“This customer told me that she loved eggs, but she couldn’t afford to buy them, so I gave her a dozen eggs for free every week until she died. It’s different when you can see that someone simply can’t afford to buy food for the week.
“I just think that if I, or any of us, are in the position to help people in life, then we all need to do what we can to make that happen,” he concluded.