30 Years For a Donut?!

The Donut Thief... - The Donut Thief...
@twoey68 (13651)
United States
October 24, 2007 7:02am CST
Hubby told me about this a few days ago but I honestly thought he was joking...turns out he wasn't. A man could get 30 years for stealing a DONUT!!! Considering that ppl generally get a slap on the wrist for killing their child, beating up elderly ppl or even most drug charges (at least it seems that way)...I think 30 years over a Donut is pretty extreme. After reading the article, I personally think that they are charging him with that to make an example out of him. Here is the article...what do you think? 52-cent doughnut may cost man 30 years to life By Todd C. Frankel ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH 10/07/2007 FARMINGTON, MO. — Shoplifters at Country Mart tend to favor cold medicines and packaged meats. They used to steal cigarettes, too, until tobacco was moved behind the counter. But the doughnuts were never a target for thieves. Country Mart's doughnuts — fried fresh daily in the store — sell for just 52 cents each. That is why the "shoplifters will be prosecuted" signs are displayed in aisle 4 with the pricey pain and allergy pills, and not in aisle 5 beside the glass doughnut case with its tiger tails, jelly-filleds and eclairs. Then one man's sweet tooth got the better of him. He stole a doughnut. A single doughnut. Authorities called it strong-arm robbery. The "doughnut man," as the suspect is now known, faces five to 15 years in prison for his crime. And Farmington, a town of 14,000 people about 70 miles south of St. Louis, has been buzzing about it ever since. "That someone would take just a single doughnut, not something very expensive or extravagant, that's unique," supermarket assistant manager Gary Komar said, smiling. Scott A. Masters, 41, is accused of shoplifting the pastry and pushing a store worker who tried to stop him. The worker was unhurt. But with that shove, his shoplifting turned into a strong-arm robbery. Masters, who appeared in court Friday, is stunned. The prosecutor shows no signs of backing down. In fact, because Masters has a prior record, he could get a sentence of 30 years to life. Lanell Gibbs was there the day of the doughnut heist. "That was a first," Gibbs, 68, said. She has worked for 11 years as a cashier at Country Mart, a regional supermarket chain. Next to her register, she keeps a clipping from the local newspaper about the doughnut man's case. He was indicted just last month, although the theft took place in December. She likes to show the article to customers as she recounts the story. It was about 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6. The store was in a lull. Gibbs, who could see the doughnut case from her station, said she saw Masters slip the doughnut into the pocket of his hooded sweatshirt. She turned to a co-worker and said, "I saw him take a doughnut. Let's see if he pays for it." They watched Masters as he strolled past the seven green checkout lanes and out a side door between the customer service desk and the pharmacy, passing under a giant "Country Mart Thanks You" sign. Gibbs' co-worker followed Masters into the parking lot. The co-worker, a 54-year-old woman, demanded that Masters come inside, according to the police report. He offered to give the doughnut back. She declined and grabbed his arm. That is when Masters allegedly delivered "a backhanded punch to the chest" and took off running, police said. "That made her mad," Gibbs recalled. The woman, who was uninjured, jumped in her car and called police as she chased Masters. He was arrested minutes later. Farmington Police Chief Rick Baker said the two incidents taken separately equaled two misdemeanors: shoplifting and minor third-degree assault. Together, they make for second-degree robbery, a class B felony, defined in state law as forcibly stealing property. The amount of force and the amount of property does not matter. "It's not the doughnut," Baker said. "It's the assault." Masters is a small man, wiry, about 5-foot-6, with short-cropped hair, a graying goatee and hound-dog eyes. He is a "frequent flier" at the St. Francois County detention center. "Yeah, Scotty is well known," said Deputy Sheriff Dennis Smith, reviewing Masters' criminal history. Masters, who lives in the nearby town of Park Hills, has been arrested more than a dozen times: for being drunk, for shoplifting, for missed court dates, for marijuana possession. He spent most of the 1990s and a stretch from 2000 to 2004 in state prison for the felonies of torching a car to collect insurance and possessing methamphetamine ingredients. In a jailhouse interview last week, Masters admitted he had taken the doughnut. Masters said he had been taking a break from his roofing job when he stopped into Country Mart. He was hungry. He fled the scene, but he said he did not lay a hand on the woman. "Strong-arm robbery? Over a doughnut? That's impossible," Masters said, exasperated. "I've never had a violent crime in my life. And there's no way I would've pushed a woman over a doughnut." After his arrest, he forgot all about the case. He assumed it had been dismissed. He spent the summer in jail on outstanding warrants. Just before he was to get out, he was indicted Sept. 14 in the doughnut case. His bail was set at $25,000 — well beyond his means. Masters briefly appeared in court Friday. His case was continued until next month. He is shaken by the possibility of a third felony conviction. A prosecutor could pursue an enhanced sentence. As a persistent offender, Masters could face a murderer's term. "I can't believe this crap," Masters said. A grand jury agreed with police on the strong-arm robbery charge. County Prosecutor Wendy Wexler Horn said that it was "way too early to know how it is going to play out" but that the charge seemed appropriate given the allegations. She was aware that some people seemed shocked by the case. "People are missing the point," Horn said. "It is not about the doughnut." But to many people here, it is all about the doughnut. Still, for all the attention paid to the doughnut incident, one detail may never emerge: the kind of doughnut Masters stole. Country Mart stocks everything from simple glazed ring doughnuts to gooey butter squares to filled cream horns and danishes. But the police report makes no mention of the doughnut style. Gibbs said she could not recall it. Other workers, too, drew a blank. Even Masters, sitting in jail with only time to think, said he could not remember. It is a detail that seems lost to history. And Masters never got a chance to enjoy that fateful doughnut. He said he threw it to the ground when he fled. !!HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
10 people like this
26 responses
@blackbriar (9080)
• United States
24 Oct 07
I can see both sides to this case. Granted the guy seems like he's unfairly jailed just for stealing a doughnut but look at his record. He's had prior shoplifting charges. When is he going to learn not to shoplift?
3 people like this
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
24 Oct 07
I agree with you blackbriar he should be punished,but 30 years? they don't even do that to rapist...
3 people like this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
10 Jan 08
Yes, I agree that he does need to learn not to shoplift but still...30 years...to me that's extreme considering the punishments for worse crimes. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
28 Oct 07
He should've done what Australian shoplifters do...they eat there stolen goodies in the store....no evidence. They drink cartons and bottles of liquids...milk, coke, juice etc and leave the empties on a shelf. They'll eat fruit...grapes are normal...they eat the grapes as they do their shopping then give the remainder to the checkout operator to weigh. I once saw a guy feeding his toddler gourmet fruit at 16.99 a kilo while he waited at the checkout. They open packets of chips and biscuits and lollies, even icecreams, eat the food then dump the wrapper. I saw a woman once open a pack of sterile eye makeup wipes. She sniffed one, wiped it on her face, put it back in the pack, put that pack back and took a new one. Some people disgust me.
@estherlou (5020)
• United States
18 Nov 07
I have actually been hungry in the store and eaten something. But, I put the wrapper in my basket and pay for it. The people you are talking about have taken "browsing" or should I say "grazing" to a new level!
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
10 Jan 08
I've done that with a cold water bottle out of the cooler but I put the bottle in with my groceries and they scan it when I check out. But yes, I've seen ppl going through the store eating out of fruit and vegetable bags, taking a handful of peanuts out of the barrel or my favorite to see, ppl stuffing 6-8 free sample things into their pockets when they are giving out free samples. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@carolbee (16241)
• United States
24 Oct 07
I think 30 yrs. is a bit extreme for stealing a donut although the incident shouldn't be overlooked. What bothers me more about this case is the fact he smacked/pushed the female employee. In addition to the bail amount, maybe a hefty fine would stop this person from ever doing something like this again.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
10 Jan 08
I agree that IF he pushed or what ever it was he supposedly did, I wasn't there so I don't know, she chased him out to the parking lot. Why on earth would she do that? I can see going to the doors to get his plate number but to chase him down...she put herself in that position. It would be like a bank teller to chase down a bank robber. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@lingli_78 (12845)
• Australia
24 Oct 07
i think it is very ridiculous... 30 years for stealing a donut is too harsh in my opinion... even a convicted murderer, pedophiles or rapists sometimes don't get such a heavy sentence for their crimes...
2 people like this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
10 Jan 08
Nope, maybe he should have run the checker down with his car. He probably would have gotten 6 months. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@bonbon664 (3470)
• Canada
24 Oct 07
That's ridiculous, it's the justice systems gone mad again. Why in the world would the worker at the store put herself in jeapordy by going after the guy in the first place? Of course he shouldn't have stolen, but, my goodness, give me a break, 30 years? That's nuts, a waste of time and money for the tax payers of the state.
2 people like this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
10 Jan 08
In Missouri at $20,000 a year for 30 years it will cost roughly $600,000.00 to house this "hardened criminal"...imagine all the doughnuts ppl could buy with that? Or better yet, how many really bad criminals they could house with that. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
24 Oct 07
This has to be one of the silliest things i have read in a very long time...To get 30 years for stealing a donut? I cannot even imagine that holding up in court..They should have just made the man pay for the donut..i am very tender hearted myself, but i think I would have just ask the man why and ask him to pay,rather than making a big deal over one donut...Somwtimes people just are hungry....I think i would have paid for the donut myself rather than send him to jail...If i were on that jury i would find him to be innocent,that is just stupid...You are right about the murderers,and rapist,b people who do real crimes get off ,but a donut Please....
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
10 Jan 08
What is equally stupid is the amount of money it will cost to house this "hardened criminal" roughly $20,000-$25,000 a year. That would mean that the doughnut would cost taxpayers roughly $600,000.00 at $20,000 a year for 30 years in the State of Missouri. Unbelievable!! **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@flowerchilde (12518)
• United States
24 Oct 07
...wow, after reading some of these responses, all I can say is too bad more people weren't more outraged at repeat child rapists, who sometimes get off with probation! Or less time than they spent raping the child over years! - thirty years for stealing! (Repeat offender or not, I mean it wasn't even armed robbery!) Just shows where people's priorities are, with things and not life, or lives..
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
24 Oct 07
You know this post might be deleted because you copied it from another url. There is a copyright law. Next time, give us the link. The man was a thief. It does not matter what the item is, stealing is stealing.
@carolscash (9500)
• United States
24 Oct 07
I am amzed at the things that the prosecutors can get by with. There is no way that this guy should serve that long over a doughnut. He offered to give it back so I find it hard to believe that he pushed her enough to be charged with strong arm robbery. He has a criminal record and he has shoplifted before but we don't charge an abusive parent for things that they have done in the past to the child only to what they do when they are caught. Is this just a case of a prosecutor proving that he can do his job and that he can get life convictions, that is what it sounds like. I guess the guy should have murdered her over the doughnut, he would have gotten a slap on the wrist and told that killing is not right.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
10 Jan 08
Maybe that's an idea...maybe if he'd run her over with his car they'd have suspended his licence for 6 months and been told to be more careful in the future. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@Shaun72 (15968)
• Palatka, Florida
24 Oct 07
Now that is really crazy. I could see probation in your home or town or maybe having to pay so much for stealing or even standing in front of a store with a sign that reads I STOLE FROM THIS SHOW. Now if you don't do these things you get put in jail but not for 30 years. I had two friends that stole gas. So I know somewhat about punishment. of course I live in Florida so your state my be different.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
10 Jan 08
I know someone that stole gas once and she got 3 days in jail. It's insane. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@Shaun72 (15968)
• Palatka, Florida
10 Jan 08
I had a friend that went to jail also for stealing gas. So didn't pay her fees or her comminity time. She tried to deny she did it.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
10 Jan 08
Yeah, but could you imagine if they tried to give her 30 years for stealing gas? **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@PunkyMcPunk (1477)
• Canada
10 Jan 08
Wow... a donut.... Hmmm. At first I thought well yup that is the Law and it is screwed up that someone who steals a donut gets a huge sentence and someone who kills gets a small sentence. But having read more into the story it appears to me like the guy is a miscreant and he should get a large sentence. However, I am also classified as being old school red nek and I think other crimes should be more harshly punished. I think if you murder someone you should share that fate.... If it had've just been one donut then I could see him being sentenced to public works, as in doing something charitable to learn his lesson. But he had a whole list of other crimes.
1 person likes this
• Canada
11 Jan 08
The thing is sometimes we look at someone and say well maybe they made a mistake so we give them the benefit of the doubt and a second or thrid or fourth chance which is the way our soft hearted blind society is. I am old school red nek I think people should be slapped and slapped hard for crimes they commit the first time,. Then they will learn their lesson.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
13 Jan 08
Maybe that's the problem...being too soft-hearted. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
24 Oct 07
REally that is funny but then again not. and it does seem harsh to tack 30 years over a shove and a donut.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
10 Jan 08
Actually in the article it states that SHE grabbed HIS arm first so actually she put her hands on him. He defended himself. I'm not saying that stealing the doughnut was right but she had no business chasing him down. I can see her getting his plate number but to confront him and then chase him down in her car is crazy. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
11 Jan 08
yup it was and I had forgot this post as its been 3 month lol but then when I read it again didnt seem that long ago either.
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
24 Oct 07
I laughed if it wasn't so true? 30 years? Maybe he should do some serious crimes instead he'll get less! If he went out and abused a child he would get a couple of months. Rape a few years, The justice system sucks, seems in every country. Bet he won't eat another doughnut for the rest of his natural now! I feel sorry for him and the sentence was a joke a joke to the justice system. Maybe next time when he comes out he could go on a killing spree instead that'll get him er a year max inside!
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
24 Oct 07
i agree with you wolfie, if they are going to make an example out of someone why not do it with a real crime like rape or child abuse...Our justice system does SUCK!
1 person likes this
@youdontsay (3503)
• United States
11 Jan 08
I worked with prison inmates for nearly 20 years and they could never understand why they were serving the sentence they'd been given. "All I did was . . ." Of course, when you look at their prior record or the threatening behavior or whatever it is clear that the cumulative effect of past history is what was being overlooked. Apparently most people are so good at rationalizing behavior that they never take personal responsibility for their choices. THAT's why so many people end up in prison.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
13 Jan 08
I do think he should take personal responsibility for stealing a doughnut. I don't believe the punishment for stealing a doughnut is 30 years though. If they wanted to punish him for his "prior record" then they should have punished him when he did those things, not sit back and wait and then get mad when he keeps doing it. It's like letting a child take money out of your change purse for years then all of sudden punishing them when they do it again. You can't expect if you let someone get away with something that you can then step in and lower the boom on them over something like this. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@missybal (4492)
• United States
11 Jan 08
too funny. All that for a donut he didn't even eat. If he was so hungry why would he not have eaten it.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
13 Jan 08
It is rather weird...I bet he hates doughnuts now. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@carolbee (16241)
• United States
11 Jan 08
This is a rather bizarre crime. This incident happened in Farmington which is about an hour or so from St. Louis. I heard about it right after it happened on the news. I do think 30 years is a little stiff and don't understand why the punishment is so hefty. And the poor guy never had a chance to even eat the donut.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
13 Jan 08
LOL there you go...30 years and he didn't even get to eat the doughnut. I bet he never looks at another doughnut again in his life. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@estherlou (5020)
• United States
18 Nov 07
Wow. What an amazing story! Before I was finished reading, I wondered if he was homeless and just hungry. It reminded me of "olden" days when they would throw people into debtors prison for stealing a loaf of bread until they could pay off their debts, which most of the time never happened. I agree, shoplifting is serious, but all of this over a doughnut? Wow.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
10 Jan 08
That's pretty much my response...Wow. I mean I agree that shoplifting is serious but da*n, 30 years!! **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@kiwikidz (753)
• New Zealand
30 Oct 07
I found this a very interesting discussion, it does go to show that you have to be careful what you do and how you do it, if he had only stolen the doughnut he would probable have gotten a smack on the hand but now he faces a different kind of life behind bars, and will probable become a hardend thief when he comes out of prison or hopefully learnt his lesson and will not reoffend.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
10 Jan 08
At the same time, had the checker not chased after him and tried to play Policewoman she wouldn't have put herself in the place to get pushed if in fact he pushed her. It's still crazy any way you look at it. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@bizmom (515)
• United States
25 Oct 07
Oh man!! what BS!! maybe he was hungry!!?? :( if its a poor town as it made it seem from the article!.. maybe he was hungry!! but its the shove that did him in! :( sadly a pryer record is whats going to get him locked up! im sure it has something to do with assult! or they wouldnt be this stringent with it!! my thinking anyway! XX :(
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
10 Jan 08
Yes, but as the article pointed out...the checker chased after him. I guess she had an urge to try to play policewoman...that is the police's job not the checker. I don't know whether he pushed her or not...I wasn't there but she still had no business chasing him out of the store. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@Rozie37 (15503)
• Turkmenistan
25 Oct 07
I did not read the entire article as it was pretty long. But, I feel that I have read enough to comment. The article says that he has priors and that he pushed the person who was attempting to stop him. In California, we have the three strike law which could earn you 25 years to life for basically the same thing, so this article does not suprise me in the least.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
10 Jan 08
Well, it still surprises me. Especially when a person can kill another person and they get only a couple of years. That's what is so terrible. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~