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Man spends night on the streets as punishment for stealing Salvation Army collection kettle

Sunday, January 27, 2008

PAINESVILLE, Ohio -- A Salvation Army worker who was ordered by a judge to spend a night homeless for stealing a holiday kettle containing about $250 returned to court Friday with red eyes and red cheeks.

Nathen Smith, who was fitted with a GPS device to track his moves, spent Thursday night ducking in and out of government buildings for warmth, including a stop at the Lake County sheriff's office.

Smith also walked through a park, but did not go under a bridge where many of Painesville's homeless sleep, probation supervisor David Washlock said.

"It's hard to find a spot to go that's warm, unless you're inside," an unshaven Smith told Municipal Judge Michael Cicconetti, who issued the sentence.

Smith, 28, worked as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army outside a Kmart store in nearby Eastlake on Dec. 17. Police arrested Smith at his mother's house after a co-worker reported that one of eight kettles was missing.

The Salvation Army uses kettle donations to help pay for food, clothing and shelter for the homeless.

Smith, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of theft, still must serve three days in jail, do eight hours of community service, get a general equivalency diploma and find a job, the judge said.

Painesville is about 30 miles northeast of Cleveland.


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He should have been ordered to spend more than ONE night on the street!! Look at all the homeless that spend days, weeks, and months out there in the heat and cold. Anyway THANK YOU judge at least one night is better than none.

-- Posted by showmemo25 on Sun, Jan 27, 2008, at 10:08 AM

I totally respect the judge's decision. His type of discipline would be a welcome change to the lame sentences handed down around here......stealing is never the answer....however, alot of people don't know half the truth about what really goes on at our local Salvation Army. They are certainly NOT the christian organization the public believes and the only people they treat with compassion are the board members. There are serious problems behind the scenes that need to be addressed.

-- Posted by taxpayer on Sun, Jan 27, 2008, at 10:24 PM


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