Tel Aviv Judge Releases Homeless Man Caught Stealing Muffins, Hummus From Kindergarten Fridge
A Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court judge on Friday released a homeless man charged with breaking into a Hod Hasharon kindergarten and stealing food from the refrigerator, the Hebrew news site Walla reported on Monday.
According to the report, the man confessed to interrogators that he had broken into the premises on two occasions, explaining that he moves regularly from one homeless shelter to another and is often hungry. “I eat what I find in garbage cans and parking lots,” he said. The first time, he said, “I climbed in through an unlocked window in search of food. I thought I’d better not get into trouble, so in the end, I left without taking anything.”
On the second occasion – after which he was apprehended — he said, “I entered through the door, opened the fridge and took three muffins, part of a loaf of bread and a container of hummus — and then I left. That was all the food I had that day.”
According to Walla, the man had no criminal record, and though the judge said that “breaking and entering is a serious offense,” he took pity on the defendant. “This is a case of Les Miserables,” he said, referring to Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel whose hero, Jean Valjean, stole bread to feed his family and wound up in jail for many years. The work was an indictment of society’s treatment of its weaker members.
The public defender who served as the man’s lawyer lauded the judge for his compassionate ruling.