Woman Faces Jail Time After Taking $2.87 From a Water Fountain

    October 18, 2013
    Erika Watts
    Comments are off for this post.

People are outraged after learning that a woman who stole less than $3 from a water fountain may face jail time. An Ohio woman, Deidre Romine, was charged with petty theft and issued a summons to appear in court after a police officer discovered her taking change from a fountain.

Romine has no job and took $2.87 from a water fountain to buy food for herself and her cats. She was gathering change from a fountain in front of the Logan County Courthouse last week when an officer with the Bellefontaine Police Department approached her.

“The cop asked me what I was doing and I was afraid to tell him,” Romine said. “The money didn’t belong to anybody, so I just took it out of there. I’m trying to feed myself and I’ve got four cats I’m raising and trying to feed them,” she said. “I might go to jail.” According to Ohio state law, a first-time petty theft offense is punishable by up to 180 days in prison.

“I am trying to find a job,” Romine said. “I am filling out applications all the time. No one will hire me. I get food stamps but they are not enough. My lease is up here and they are asking me to leave,” Romine continued. “I was just trying to get food for me and my cats–that’s it. It’s really hard for me.”

While some people are split on whether Romine’s actions were okay or not, most agree that tying up the courts over pocket change is ludicrous. Do you think she should be fined or receive jail time? Respond below.

A man named Will Zell started an online fund to raise money for Romine’s defense. Zell originally wanted to raise $200 for Romine, but his GoFundMe page has gotten almost $9,000 in donations so far. “We want the community to know the why rather than just the headline that she got arrested, and we also want to help her out,” Zell said.

[Image via 10TV]
  • Reality

    Welcome to the United States in 2013.

    We have people getting life sentences for stealing tube socks (California), people charged for stealing $2.87 worth of fountain change, people getting setup on the internet and arrested after they step out of their cars (Georgia), women being stripped naked and thrown in jail cells by police, pregnant women getting slammed and hogtied by police, people being run over on purpose by the police, and the list goes on and on and on …..

    We incarcerate more than any other country in the history of the world. We have huge prison industrial plants (Georgia has 23 facilities alone) and private prisons are listed on the NYSE. We see the police being militarized right before our eyes.

    When will people begin to realize that we are transitioning into a fully functional police state? What does it take before people wake up? Martial law?

  • Judy Klecan

    Where’s our compassion anymore? I know the policeman was only doing his job, but, if I were him, I would have turned my back. She wasn’t hurting anyone and if she had to be pretty desperate to resort to doing taking the coins. Let the poor woman and her cats eat.

  • Meanwhile

    Meanwhile, there is someone in Ohio who has three women hidden in his basement for 10 years. Yet, we need to go after the fountain woman who stole $2.87.

    This stuff really ticks me off. In my town, we had one of those internet entrapment cases. Three guys were setup and arrested by a profit making vigilante group whose members were under federal investigation and one literally was up on fraud charges in California. None of the men arrested had criminal pasts. They literally were just going to meet someone they were chatting with on the internet. Meanwhile, we had 4 cases of real child abuse/abduction in our county that were ignored for years. We spent the time to set people up and literally ignored real cases with real people. Don’t even get me started on the fact 3 local police officers were busted for extortion, drug dealing, and excessive use of force.

    Our police are out of control in this nation. Many people who shouldn’t be arrested are getting arrested and sent to jail and many people who should be in jail are not even being touched.

    Really — of all the horrible things going on in the world — a woman who steals $2.87 because she is hungry is a priority? I lived in Ohio and in that area — there are more drugs around Columbus than you can imagine. Don’t you think it would be more effective use of police time to deal with that rather than the fountain lady?

    Oh yeah, the police are probably getting kickbacks from the drug dealers. I forgot about that.

  • Not so fast

    She broke the law. A fine is appropriate. It didn’t belong to her, whether she knew who’s it was.

    • @Not so fast

      Says the person who has never done wrong in their life. Please. It was $2.87, a woman they knew was mentally ill, and something harmless.

      So, lets make her life worse by arresting her … good job America! Over $2.87. I can’t even get a cup of coffee at Starbuck’s for that.

    • @Not so fast

      Says the person who has never done wrong in their life. Please. It was $2.87, a woman they knew was mentally ill, and something harmless.

      So, lets make her life worse by arresting her … good job America! Over $2.87. I can’t even get a cup of coffee at Starbuck’s for that.

  • Leave the Woman Alone

    The people who threw the money in the fountain A) didn’t say she could not have it and B) didn’t want the money anyway. Heck, if I threw a quarter in a fountain, I would be kind of glad someone who needed it went and took it.

    Leave the woman alone. We are clueless in this nation. We punish those that can’t fight back and who are in dire straits, but let those that have everything get away with everything and screw us. Why don’t the police go arrest those clowns in Washington. The needless, worthless, petty shutdown cost this nation $24 BILLION DOLLARS. Go arrest them because what they did is far worse than what this woman did.

    We lost $24 billion over NOTHING. Literally, NOTHING. That is the same as stealing.

  • Christ Said….

    …. whatever you do to the least of my brother you do unto me. Somehow I don’t see Christ arresting this woman and causing her more harm. That is the problem in this nation. We say we are a Christian nation under God, but we never act like Christ would. You know — those crazy things — like forgiving, giving mercy, showing compassion, and just generally being kind.

  • Sad times

    So let me get this straight we are constantly funding and sending money overseas to other countries but yet we have starving people here in our own nation. I can’t believe that this world has come to this that we have people that have to resort to doing stuff like this. Its a shame that we worry more about other places and the problems they have instead of taking care of our own people. Sad thing is its only going to get worse.

  • James Johnson

    As someone has already said include the Chief this money is in a city fountain. She is a member of the city. Who decides where the money goes?