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.
— Chell♡ (@MsCarter_713) October 17, 2013
REALLY DID CHARLES DICKENS WRITE THIS?Unemployed Ohio woman charged for taking $2.87 from fountain to buy food – Dem http://t.co/UxUyTVZiAP
— Linda Collins (@LindaCollins11) October 18, 2013
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]