Wyoming 19-year-old fined $200 for doughnut theft


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Hum

A Northwest College soccer player was charged with misdemeanor shoplifting for allegedly eating a single doughnut inside of Blair?s Market in November and leaving without paying for it.

Midfielder Zach O?Dell, 19, was at the grocery Nov. 28 with friends when around 5:40 p.m. a store manager allegedly saw him consume the confectionery and authorities were alerted.

On Wednesday Jan 25. Sandra Kitchen, a city attorney in Powell, informed the Trail that there will be no trial. Prosecution has been deferred and the defendant has agreed to terms.

Included in the terms O?Dell has agreed to are a $200 fine in addition to $10 in court costs.

Restitution in the amount of $0.79, the approximate cost of the doughnut, is also to be paid to Blair?s Market.

?I?ve deferred the prosecution and at the end of six months the charge will be dismissed fully if he has not been in any more trouble related to larceny or theft,? Kitchen said.

Powell Police Officer Cody Bradley responded to the business in the 300 block of West Coulter Avenue and Police Chief Roy Eckerdt said this week that O?Dell confessed to eating a doughnut.

Sources tell the Trail O?Dell attempted to pay for the doughnut after being contacted by store personnel and claimed it was an oversight in forgetting to pay.

The group allegedly paid for other items at a register.

Regardless, Blair?s owner said this week that the store has a zero tolerance policy regarding theft.

?Policy is policy,? owner Brent Foulger told the Trail Tuesday. ?Paid for is OK; not paid for is shoplifting.?

Foulger?s son Kyle Foulger, who alerted authorities about the alleged shoplifting, agreed with his father about the need for consequences.

?There is no gray area; it?s either paid for or not paid for,? he said.

A former employee at Blair?s who worked there for several years said he agreed with the decision to charge O?Dell because the grocer had experienced several thefts over the years, particularly by college-age customers.

Chief Eckerdt said shoplifting calls were common at stores in Powell and he defended the citation in this case and denied it was an attempt to set an example.

?We do get a lot of shoplifting calls; I guess the thing you have to take to keep all this in perspective is that a store like Blair?s is open 360 some odd days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - what does that shrinkage, the common term for the store?s loss - cost them in a year?? Eckerdt said.

?I think it?s ridiculous that the store and police are pursuing this,? Scott Kondrad, a resident adviser in Lewis and Clark and president of the campus criminal justice club said. ?He was willing to pay it back at the store and it was an innocent mistake blown out of proportion.?

Eckerdt addressed the question raised by individuals like Kondrad.

?The officer is not the victim in the case and [if] the elements of the crime have been met, what do we tell a victim, ?No we?re not going to help you?? You?re not a victim,? Eckerdt said. ?I think that?s part of the problem, that people are looking at this as a victimless crime. And if that?s the case, its not [true]. We are all the victims of this crime. As a result of shoplifting and damaging property in the stores we all bear the brunt of that. It creates prices that go up, the store loses money; someone has to make that up somewhere.?

O?Dell, who has been studying criminal justice, declined to comment to the Trail.

source

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The Teej

I don't get it, he was willing to pay for it. Why fine him $200?

Just make him pay for the donut and keep an eye on him the next time he's in. Simple.

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still1

I don't know what to say but something is ridiculous in this.

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jerzdawg

I don't get it, he was willing to pay for it. Why fine him $200?

Just make him pay for the donut and keep an eye on him the next time he's in. Simple.

I agree the whole thing is nuts, but look at it from the store's perspective - how many other people are going to walk out of a store without paying for something only to claim they forgot to pay for it (if they get caught). again, over .79 is nothing but pure craziness.

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+warwagon

Good, he's lucky it's only $200 and nothing worse.

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Geoffrey B.

normally around these parts of the cost of the stolen item is less than $25 they cannot prosecute.

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Rohdekill

I don't get it, he was willing to pay for it. Why fine him $200?

Just make him pay for the donut and keep an eye on him the next time he's in. Simple.

And what is wrong for fining him $200 for breaking the law, paying $.079 for the product he consumed and then banning him from returning to the property?

Would you be ok with a burglar entering your home, having paid for what he previously stoled? How about 50-100 of these burglars returning daily? Isn't it easier to ban them than consume resources to closely watch them?

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Nerd Rage

When I got a speeding ticket when I was a kid, I had to play $200 in addition to the cost of the ticket to wiped in from my record. Sounds like he is doing the same thing. He agreed to those terms.

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Hum

I don't know what to say but something is ridiculous in this.

What amused me, is how overwritten this news story is. :laugh:

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hamslammer

I don't get it, he was willing to pay for it. Why fine him $200?

Just make him pay for the donut and keep an eye on him the next time he's in. Simple.

What don't you get!! He stole it, plain and simple, the right thing was done for justice.

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Southern Patriot

Shoplifting is shoplifting. Doesn't matter if it is a 79 cent doughnut or a $250 iPod.

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