A Toronto police officer called to the scene of a shoplifting is being commended, not for arresting the man, but for letting him go.

When the officer learned the young man had tried to steal a shirt, tie, and socks for a job interview, he decided to help him out.

Not only did Const. Niran Jeyanesan let the man go, he used his own money to pay for the clothes the man had tried to steal.

Jeyanesan told CP24 that he and his partner were called to a Walmart in the city’s north end on Sunday evening for a reported theft.

The store’s loss prevention officer had apprehended the 18-year-old as he tried to steal a dress shirt, tie and socks. Jeyanesan interrogated the man and learned he wanted the outfit for an upcoming job interview, but didn’t have the means to pay for them.

“This young person has been facing his own difficulty in life and he was looking to straighten all that by providing for his family and trying to get a job,” Jeyanesan said on Monday.

The officers decided to let the man go without charging him. Without saying anything to the man, Jeyanesan then went and bought the clothes for him.

While some might criticize the officer for letting a shoplifting suspect walk free, Jeyanesan said it became clear to him that the man was trying for a second chance in life.

“Having a conversation with him, he didn’t have any resources, any other way to go about this. I think he really wanted to attend that interview and I don’t think he knew how else to go about this,” he said.

When others heard about what the officer had done, they contacted CP24 anonymously to tell them the story.

Staff Sgt. Paul Bois of the Toronto Police Service said he thinks Jeyanesan made the right choice.

“I think the officer did a fantastic job. He exercised his discretion, definitely showed some humanity in dealing with this particular individual,” he told CP24.

Bois said every case they come across is different and in this one, Jeyanesan learned of the man’s full story and wanted to help him.

“And I think collectively, that’s why we are all here doing this job,” Bois said.

“We need to make a positive difference in people’s lives. I think he did.”

With reports from CP24 Cristina Tenaglia