Ohio man opts to wear 'thief' sign over jail time

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 24, 2016 1:39 PM

(Reuters) - A northeast Ohio man convicted of stealing has chosen to wear a sign reading “I AM A THIEF. I STOLE FROM WALMART” over spending 30 days in jail.

Gregory Davenport, 43, of Youngstown, Ohio, began serving his sentence on Wednesday after pleading no contest this month to a charge of stealing merchandise from a Walmart store in Liberty, Ohio, in December, according to court officials and court documents in Girard Municipal Court.

Girard Municipal Court Judge Jeffrey Adler, who found Davenport guilty, gave him the option of wearing the sign or spending the time behind bars.

Davenport could not be reached by Reuters to comment, but he told The Vindicator, a newspaper in Youngstown, Ohio, he was embarrassed but ready to get the punishment over with. "It's better than being in jail," he said. “I can’t even remember (what I stole), it’s been so many months ago,” he added.

Youngstown TV station WKBN's website quoted him, however, as saying he was caught trying to take a 52-inch television out of the store.

Davenport must wear the sign in front of the store for eight hours a day for 10 days of his choosing, according to court officials. He was also fined $200, according to court documents.

(Reporting by Justin Madden in Chicago; Editing by James Dalgleish)