WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – The Winter Haven Police Department is facing backlash on social media after asking for the community’s help in identifying a man who stole diapers and baby wipes from a Walmart after two of his credit cards were declined.
The police department posted to Facebook on Saturday images from store surveillance cameras showing the man in the store with two young children and a cart with diapers and wipes.
Police say the theft took place on Sept. 15 at the store located at 7450 Cypress Gardens Boulevard.
According to the Facebook post, Winter Haven police say the man attempted to buy the items at the self-checkout lanes, however, his card was declined several times.
Officers say he left the items behind and came back into the store to try a different card. When that card was also declined, the police department says he took the items anyway.
Many Facebook commenters said they found it distasteful that the police department publicized the diaper theft the same way it would handle the theft of items that are more expensive and less needed, such as electronics.
“WHPD what happened to protect & serve. While I don’t condone stealing why don’t y’all step up and see how you can help this dad instead of berating him. I’ll help pay for the diapers and wipes,” one person commented.
“When you figure out who he is, send me his info so I can pay for a year supply of diapers and wipes for his children,” another commented.
If you recognize the man, police asked the community to call Sergeant Hall at 863-291-5736.
For families in need of diapers, you can contact Champions for Children at 813-673-4646.