A week ago, an employee of Gamers Edge in Ocala noticed a couple of candy bars missing from a display stand on the counter. Rodriguez-Ramos, 21, was present and was asked if he took the bars. He denied he did and left the premises.
The Sacramento Bee
reports that on Monday, Rodriguez-Ramos returned to Gamers Edge and admitted the theft. The employee asked him to return the following day so they could discuss the matter. When the homeless man went back on Tuesday, police were called and he was arrested and charged with retail theft. At the time he stole the two candy bars, Rodriguez-Ramos was on a six month period of probation for a previous retail theft.
The day after his arrest, Rodriguez-Ramos appeared in court via video link. He pleaded guilty to the retail theft charge and was sentenced to 180 days in jail.
The Ocala Star-Banner
reports that after he was sentenced, Rodriguez-Ramos spoke to a reporter. When asked why he stole the candy bars, he said, "I had not eaten in a couple of days, and I'm homeless." After he said he initially went to the store to visit a friend, the reporter wanted to know why the friend did not pay for the $2 worth of candy. The homeless man replied, "I don't have friends like that."
Marion County Judge John Futch wasn't buying the excuse that Rodriguez-Ramos had to steal because he was hungry and homeless. WPTV
reports the judge wanted to know why the 21-year-old wasn't trying to get a job and why he did not go to a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen to get help.
In addition to the jail term, Rodriguez-Ramos was fined $500. The judge also told him he may face further consequences for breaching his probation order.