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Published:March 25th, 2016 08:30 EST

Instead of Jail Man Chooses to Wear 'I am a Thief' Sign

By Robert Paul Reyes

"Go to jail, or walk with a sign saying you`re a thief: those were the options presented to a man who was recently convicted in court in Girard.

Greg Davenport was outside Walmart in Liberty on Wednesday carrying a sign saying: I am a thief. I stole from Walmart.

Davenport said he will be holding the sign for eight hours a day for 10 days, rather than spending 30 days in jail. He said he was caught trying to take a 52-inch television out of the store.

I stole, I got punished. That`s it, " Davenport said, adding that he chose the punishment so he could take care of his parents."


Davenport has been arrested for petty theft numerous times, perhaps it`s time to try a novel approach. I wouldn`t recommend public shaming for violent criminals, but for petty thieves it might be an efficient and cost-effective way to deal with them. It costs thousands to house an inmate in jail for a month, this humiliating form of punishment will save money.

Jail is a finishing school for inmates, they learn tricks of their criminal trade and they are encouraged to continue down the wrong path by their fellow jailbirds. Davenport needs to spend less time with convicts, and more time performing community service in addition to carrying a sign saying he`s a thief.

When people see Davenport outside of Walmart with his sign, it will serve as a deterrence, would-be shoplifters will think twice about stealing from Walmart.

Let`s hope holding the sign embarrasses this hapless thief enough to keep him from committing the same crime again.