Anonymous Good Samaritans save thief

Two Good Samaritans have intervened to save a woman who stole from Niu Pharmacy last month. They paid for the woman's debt and they do not want to be identified.

Pharmacy owner, Zhenna Chan Mow-Fa'aiuga told the Samoa Observer that on 27 June 2020, a woman was caught on camera stealing items in the baby section of the store. The woman owed the store a total of approximately $147 for the stolen goods.

She said their staff only discovered there were missing items after a stock take led to them checking their C.C.T.V. footage.

“We found [video] footage of her taking baby things,” she said. The incident and video footage was eventually posted on Facebook by the Pharmacist but only after an intricate chain of events provoked them into doing so. 

“We did not want to post on Facebook right away because we did not know who she was," she said. "Instead I informed my staff to just be on the lookout."

However, the second time the alleged thief went into the store, the pharmacy staff approached her.

“We had an idea to approach her and say she was the winner of a raffle by showing a picture of her but she denied [it] and said it wasn’t and that it was her twin sister,” Ms. Faaiuga said.

“My staff asked her to come to the back but she tried running and then was stopped by the security who locked the door. We didn’t want to make a scene because it was really busy. She wasn’t wearing the same clothes but she had the same bag that she put the items in and was wearing the same watch.”

The alleged thief made a deal with the Niu Pharmacy that she would pay back the value of the stolen goods and left her passport as insurance. 

“Then she [the alleged thief] went on to say that she had just given birth weeks ago and she came to get some stuff for her baby but could not afford it but only had $25,” she said. 

“We told her that she should have approached us to talk about the matter instead of outright stealing. And also she was going around with an expensive iPhone and a smart watch yet she claimed that she could not afford to pay it.”

On Tuesday this week, Niu Pharmacy posted the video of the woman stealing and her identity in the morning.

“We don’t like posting things online about people because we understand that there is a lot of backlash that comes with it and it also shames families.

“But the whole reason why we posted her identity is because we gave her a chance to realise her mistake and make amends unfortunately after the week had expired she did not get back to us, we tried calling her but she did not answer.”

Later that day after the post was made; the alleged thief called Niu Pharmacy and demanded the post be removed.

“All this time when we called her she never answered her phone but as soon as the post was made she called and demanded our staff to take the post down. Her brother, however, came in and asked if he can make payments but this issue is between us and his sister.

“But we were approached by a couple that said they were willing to pay but wanted to remain anonymous, saying God had placed it in their hearts to come in and pay for what she had taken and also if we could please remove the posts.”

She also added that the anonymous charitable citizens wanted to remain anonymous. The pharmacy has removed its post. 

“I just hope that [the individual who had taken the items] would know that she is so blessed to have people like these two that have come in to resolve the issue between us,” she said. 

“We did not want to take this matter to Police because if it is true she has a young child then we did not want for the baby to have no mother, because she could possibly go to jail.

“I do understand, I think it's all part of the hardships that people are going through and the temptations have gotten to them and they have made unfortunate choices.”

Ms. Faaiuga added, that from her perspective, incidents such as theft are a growing problem:

“I’ve seen posts from other businesses identifying the same issue, it's bad and I guess it’s the signs of the hardships. She’s definitely not the first.”

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