Portsmouth Cop Buys Birthday Cake Ingredients for Shoplifting Mother

'I'm not going to take away a kid's birthday cake.'

Officer Michael Kotsonis of the Portsmouth Police Department was dispatched to the Ocean State Job Lot last month after employees there spotted a woman shoplifting. She had only taken a few items: cake mix, Crisco shortening, and some frosting.

Upon viewing surveillance footage and tracking her license plate, Kotsonis’ investigation led him to the shoplifter’s home. But when he arrived to recover the stolen items, he discovered the woman was using them to bake a cake for her young daughter’s birthday. Instead of arresting the mother, Kotsonis brought the items back to the Ocean State Job Lot and told the manager he’d like to buy them.

“I’m not going to take away a kid’s birthday cake,” Kotsonis, a 19-year veteran of the department, told the Portsmouth Herald. “I ended up bringing it back to the mother.”

Kotsonis said he didn’t do it for the attention and wanted his good deed to pass without any fanfare. But an employee at the Ocean State Job Lot felt Kotsonis deserved recognition for his “the kindest thing in the entire world” and alerted the folks at the Herald. While he made it clear he doesn’t condone theft, Kotsonis felt the woman’s child shouldn’t be the one to suffer.