Logan County, OH – Stealing change from a fountain might be seen as cheap or taboo, but Deidre Romine of Bellefontaine said that she had no choice. She was starving.
Though you’d think the authorities would look the other way, Romine has been charged with petty theft for the crime of taking $2.87 in coins from a public fountain at the Logan County Courthouse. Unemployed, she has pleaded not guilty, arguing that she simply needed to buy food.
“I’m trying to feed myself and I’ve got four cats I’m raising and I’m trying to feed them,” she told local WBNS-TV. “The money didn’t belong to anybody so I just took it out of there.”
Romine is about to lose her apartment, and is worried she’ll now face prison time. “I might go to jail,” she bemoaned.
Interestingly, her story has inspired one local resident to reach out and help her. Will Zell began a donation drive after hearing of Romine’s plight in order to help her with expenses.
“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.
As of Friday morning, donations have totaled $8,000, far surpassing the goal of $200.
“You all are amazing individuals! I am very grateful for your support for Deidre,” Zell wrote on the donation page.
According to ABC News, the city is hoping to wrap up the case before Romine’s November trial. The city is listed as the victim in the case. Zell added that Romine has secured a case worker through the county mental health services.