Florida Cereal Stealer Gets 15 Years in Prison

A Florida man gets 15 years in prison for stealing a $4.99 box of Lucky Charms

NBC Bay Area

Here's an example where the punishment doesn't quite seem to fit the crime.

A Florida man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Monday for stealing a $4.99 box of Lucky Charms and a $1.59 can of evaporated milk. Remember, we said he was a cereal stealer, not a serial killer.

Last time we checked, those pots of gold and blue diamonds were made of marshmallows, not real jewels. It's not like he kidnapped or killed the creepy little leprechaun.

The judge threw the book at Mark Anthony Griffin because he was a "prison releasee reoffender," a weird way of saying he had been in jail before. The Lakeland Ledger reports Griffin was convicted in 2007 of burglary and grand theft.

Griffin is a homeless man, and while that doesn't make what he did right, it's hard to imagine that crime, which amounts to around $7 with tax, is worth the thousands of tax payer dollars it will take to house him in a state penal facility.

The judge who sentenced Griffin seems to agree, but said he was bound by the law to give the reoffender the mandatory minimum.

"Personally, I think the money could have been better spent in treatment rather than incarceration for 15 years, but that is not my decision," Bartow Judge Donald Jacobsen said. "It seems to me that treatment would be a far better resolution of this."

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