Is $200 An Appropriate Penalty For Stealing A $.79 Donut?

A Wyoming college student probably never thought he’d be making headlines around the country when he got caught eating a donut he hadn’t paid for.

According to reports, the 19-year-old was charged with misdemeanor shoplifting after employees at a store say they spotted him leaving the premises without anteing up the $.79 for the donut.

Rather than go to trial over this crime of the century, the teen made a deal with the city attorney to pay a $200 fine, $10 in court costs and the original $.79 he should have paid in the first place.

“I’ve deferred the prosecution and at the end of six months the charge will be dismissed fully if he has not been in any more trouble related to larceny or theft,” the prosecutor tells a reporter for the Northwest Trail.

The paper reports that when the student, who was with other patrons who paid for their purchases at the register, was snagged with the purloined pastry, which he said he simply forgot to pay for, he attempted to make good by paying for it.

But the store’s owner maintained that, “Policy is policy… Paid for is OK; not paid for is shoplifting.”

Other area residents think the punishment may have been too harsh. “I think it’s ridiculous that the store and police are pursuing this,” one student tells the Trail. “He was willing to pay it back at the store and it was an innocent mistake blown out of proportion.”

Since everyone loves to play judge Judy and executioner, here’s a poll where you can decide the young thief’s fate:

Doughnut case glazed over before trial [Northwest Trail via]