IMPERIAL, Mo. ( - The owner of the Gas Mart convenience store in the 2000 block of Old Highway 21 in Imperial came up with a unique way to address the nagging problem of shoplifting, he plans to give away food.

"On an average day there are 4-5 people we catch stealing," said owner Moses Yasin.

Yasin said he recently caught a young man shoplifting and when he asked him why he was stealing, the man said he didn’t have the money to feed his young child but was too embarrassed to ask for help.

Yasin said he fed the man and his hungry 4-year-old, and then posted a sign on a door of the store.

The sign reads:

“If you are down on your luck and cannot buy food to eat, ask the cashier, we will feed you. We guarantee it’s better than the meals you get in jail.”

Customers had good things to say about the sign.

"I think it's great. I think it's amazing that somebody would do something like that," said Dan Davis.

“I think it would be helpful for certain people that would be less likely to steal," said Eric McClendon.

Yasin said he’s helped many people who were truly in need and he would rather give someone free food than get them arrested for stealing.

"Come to me I'll give it to you, you don't have to steal,” said Yasin.

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All Rights Reserved

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