You would think professional athletes would never need to steal anything. After all, when you make millions of dollars per year, you can pretty much afford to buy anything you might want or need. When people steal though, whether or not they can pay for the item they're taking doesn't always factor into their thought process. Theft is about feeling entitlement to an object, believing that you deserve to have it and that taking it isn't the worst thing in the world. Theft is about convincing yourself that what you're doing is right.
People who steal can justify taking pretty much anything. People who steal food can tell themselves it's because they need to feed their family, disregarding that the people they took the food from need to feed their families as well. People who steal prescription drugs can tell themselves that they need them for health reasons. People who steal music on the internet can convince themselves that it's a victimless crime. After all, they aren't actually taking any physical object, just a duplicate of a file, and the musicians who are losing out on their money are already rich and don't need any more money anyway, right?
Not all thefts are limited to necessary foods, prescription drugs, pirated music or even money. Some of the objects athletes have stolen over the years are quite weird. Some of them, like cars, shirts, and televisions, get weirder when you understand the context in which they were taken. Nevertheless, the athletes on this list would've been much better off paying for the objects they took rather than giving themselves a five finger discount. In most cases, the crime was not worth the punishment they received after getting caught.
Here are the top 20 weird things athletes have been caught stealing.
20 Jay Rosehill - A car
19 Mike Vrabel - Alcohol
18 Peter Warrick and Laveranues Coles - Clothes
17 Mike Leake - Shirts
In 2011 then Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mike Leake was arrested for stealing six American Rag T-shirts, worth $59.88 from a Macy's department store. Leake claimed he had purchased shirts in that amount earlier in the day and was trying to exchange them without having to go through the process of actually having to talk to an employee.
16 Charles "June" Henley, Jr. - Televisions
15 Clay Buchholz - Laptops
14 Frank Herron - A bicycle
13 Charlie Samuels - Mets memorabilia
Former New York Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels was arrested in May of 2011 after a gambling investigation led to the discovery that he had stolen roughly $2.3 million worth of memorabilia while working for the Mets. Among the items stolen were jerseys, baseballs, bats, helmets, other equipment, and most notably a full set of autographed 1986 World Series uniforms. Samuels was indicted on 21 counts, including tax evasion charges, but he pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property and received five years probation.
12 Trent Campbell - A Taxi Cab
11 Jared Tomich - Exercise Equipment
10 O.J. Simpson - his own memorabilia
9 Ryan Thompson - IDs
8 Orlando Woolridge - Aluminum Tubing
7 Reno Mahe - Gas
Former Philadelphia Eagles running back Reno Mahe and four others, including former BYU football player Tevita Ofahengaue, were arrested for stealing more than $15,000 worth of gasoline from a construction company near Salt Lake City, Utah in 2010. One of the people charged was an employee of the company who had used a code to steal gas and helped the others do the same.
6 Ryan O'Byrne - A purse
In 2008 Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ryan O'Byrne was arrested outside of a Tampa nightclub for stealing a woman's purse. O'Byrne was charged with felony grand theft, while teammate Tom Kostopoulos was also charged for resisting arrest in the incident. The charges against the two were eventually dropped and O'Byrne apologized to the woman and agreed to do community service.
5 Chris Nilan - A bathing suit
4 Jameis Winston - Crab Legs
3 O.J. Simpson - Cookies
2 Golden Tate - Donuts
1 Erving Walker - A taco
Former Florida Gator Erving Walker was charged with petty theft and resisting an officer without violence on March 30, 2012 after he stole a $3 taco from a street vendor and then ran from police in Gainesville, Florida. The basketball star was caught several blocks later, but told police that he was "just playing around". Walker pleaded no contest to the petty theft charge and was fined $301. That's one expensive taco.
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