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.
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20 Jay Rosehill - A car
While a member of the AHL's Norfolk Admirals in 2007, former NHL enforcer Jay Rosehill was arrested for stealing a car while on a road trip in Binghamton, New York. What makes this one weird is that Rosehill took the car from the parking lot of one um, adult establishment, to make the roughly 13 second drive to another club. I guess he didn't want to pay the 43 cent cab ride.
19 Mike Vrabel - Alcohol
Former NFL linebacker Mike Vrabel was arrested and charged with class D felony theft in Florence, Indiana in 2011 for stealing bottles of alcohol from a Belterra Casino Resort & Spa deli. He claimed the incident was just a misunderstanding. Vrabel was only required to go 180 days without committing another crime to have the charges dropped. How on earth was this a misunderstanding?
18 Peter Warrick and Laveranues Coles - Clothes
In 1999 Florida State University teammates Peter Warrick and Laveraneus Coles were arrested and charged with grand theft for a scam that involved underpaying for clothes at a Dillard's department store. With the help of store clerk Rachel Myrtil the pair purchased $412.38 worth of clothes for $21.40. Warrick was suspended by the Seminoles for two games following the incident, while Coles was already on probation for past legal troubles and this incident got him kicked off the team. Both players pleaded guilty to misdemeanors and Warrick had to spend 30 days in a work program, while Coles had to spend 10.
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.
Basically he thought he could walk into the store, drop the shirts he had bought, grab new ones and walk out. Leake pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of property and entered into a diversion program. He was required to seek counselling and do 30 hours of community service in order for the case to be dismissed.
16 Charles "June" Henley, Jr. - Televisions
Former NFL running back Charles "June" Henley, Jr has had multiple run-ins with the law. In 2013 he was arrested for multiple television thefts from a Walmart in Westerville, Ohio. Henley twice walked into the store and took a television without paying. He then went back in to get another television, but this time he took it to a cashier to remove the security feature. Henley pretended to pay via cheque, but left with the television before finishing filling out the cheque and got into a stolen Jeep.
15 Clay Buchholz - Laptops
Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay began his college baseball career at McNeese State University, but was dismissed from the team in 2004 for selling laptop computers on campus after he stole 29 of them from a middle school. Bucholz transferred to Angelina Junior College to continue pitching, a move that allowed him to enter the MLB Draft a year earlier and get taken by the Red Sox.
14 Frank Herron - A bicycle
Louisiana State University defensive end Frank Herron was arrested just before 1:30 pm on April 28, 2014 on a misdemeanor theft charge for stealing a bicycle. The owner of the bicycle called police after he saw another person riding it. When police arrived Herron admitted that he had indeed taken the bike. This seems like the kind of thing a 12-year-old would do, not a guy on a football scholarship.
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.
He also pleaded guilty to tax fraud charges and agreed to pay $21,000 to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, roughly $15,000 to the New York City Department of Finance, and $15,000 to the district attorney’s office. He was also ordered to pay $24,955 to the Mets.
12 Trent Campbell - A Taxi Cab
Trent Campbell of the ECHL's South Carolina Stingrays was suspended indefinitely in March of 2012 after he was arrested and charged with felony auto theft for stealing a taxi cab. Campbell had approached the cab driver shortly after 2:00 am and asked for a ride, but was told that the driver already had another customer scheduled. When the driver temporarily left his vehicle to look for the customer, Campbell jumped in and drove off. He was found near the abandoned cab a short time later.
11 Jared Tomich - Exercise Equipment
Former NFL defensive end Jared Tomich was arrested on theft charges in February of 2014 after roughly $8,200 worth of equipment went missing from a gym he was running. The missing items included exercise and office equipment and satellite radios. Tomich was running the business until he could buy the building from its owners, Anthony and Carole Pankau, but when a church group made an offer, Tomich couldn't afford to make one, so the building was sold and the gym was closed. Police discovered that Tomich had purchased another gym and when they searched it they found yoga blocks and straps belonging to the Pankaus.
10 O.J. Simpson - his own memorabilia
Hall of Fame NFL running back and alleged murderer O.J. Simpson was arrested in 2007 after he led a group of armed men into a Las Vegas casino hotel to steal sports memorabilia, which he claimed belonged to him. In 2008 Simpson was convicted on kidnapping, armed robbery, and other charges and sentenced to 33 years in prison with the possibility of parole in 2017.
9 Ryan Thompson - IDs
Former MLB outfielder Ryan Thompson and 17 others were charged in an ID theft scam in September of 2013. The scam involved stealing social security numbers, many of them belonging to children, and selling them to people with a poor credit history to use to purchase vehicles. What would some of the names be on those IDs? Was there a McLovin ID that people could obtain?
8 Orlando Woolridge - Aluminum Tubing
Former NBA player Orlando Woolridge was arrested on February, 20012 in DeSoto Parish, Lousiana for stealing aluminum tubing from a drill site. Now, it's hard to see how he would possibly think no one would notice aluminum tubing going missing. Woolridge was charged with theft over $1,500 and released on $2,000 bond. Sadly, Woolridge passed away just a few months later from a chronic heart condition at the age of 52.
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.
Surveillance video showed the suspects filling up their own cars after hours and it was determined that Mahe had been present for the theft of a $2,688 worth of gas, resulting in a second degree theft charge. Mahe pleaded no contest to the charge and was ordered to pay $2,973 in restitution plus other fees and to stay out of trouble for 18 months to have the case dismissed.
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
Former NHL enforcer Chris "Knuckles" Nilan was arrested in 2009 for stealing a bathing suit from a Lord & Taylor store. Nilan went into the store's changing room and then left with a pair of swim trunks on under the shorts he wore in. Security guards tried to stop him, but Nilan denied any wrongdoing and tried to punch one of the guards. When police arrived Nilan told them that he was just trying to save some money. The case against Nilan was dismissed, but he was ordered to pay $100 in court costs and banned from the store.
4 Jameis Winston - Crab Legs
While attending Florida State University, quarterback Jameis Winston was cited for stealing crab legs from a Publix supermarket. Winston was required to do 20 hours of community service and he was suspended from the Seminoles baseball team until the community service was completed. Surveillance video of the incident was later released, which clearly shows Winston walking out of the store with the crab legs without paying.
3 O.J. Simpson - Cookies
In 2013, while serving his sentence for armed robbery at Lovelock Correctional Center, Simpson was reportedly caught stealing more than a dozen oatmeal cookies from the prison's cafeteria. Simpson allegedly tried to sneak the cookies into his cell, but was discovered by a prison guard who noticed he was hiding something under his clothes. Are prison oatmeal cookies that good?
2 Golden Tate - Donuts
In 2010 then Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate and a friend received a warning from police for trespassing after they went into an unattended Top Pot donut shop in the building Tate lived in at 3:00 am and ate some donuts. Tate apologized for the incident and called it a "foolish mistake" before adding, ""But, if you ever want maple bars, that's the place to go."
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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