Zero Tolerance

9-Year-Old Boy Who Stole Gum Was Arrested and Jailed—The Streets Are Safe Again

Boy couldn't get to court for his trial.



Citizens of Idaho, the danger has passed: Authorities bravely captured the 9-year-old miscreant who—gasp!—stole a pack of gum from a convenience store.

Thankfully, no one was harmed in the effort to apprehend the social menace.

The boy landed in trouble after twice failing to show up for his court date. At that point, prosecutors felt they had no choice but to issue a warrant for his arrest. According to KHQ, the boy was unable to go to court because his family had no way of transporting him there:

[Chief of Police Scott] Haug also says it isn't uncommon for the owner of a business to press charges against those who steal, even if it's for something as small as a pack of gum. When KHQ asked Haug why the 9 year old failed to appear, he says it was because the family had no way to get him to the courthouse.

"Had we known that before the court date we would have provided something for the family," says Haug. "I wish we would have had more information that way we could have provided some sort of assistance."

But that's not an issue anymore; the boy has been packed off to a juvenile detention center to await his next court date. Now he should have no trouble facing judgment for his terrible crimes.

Hat tip: Sarcasmic

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  1. “I wish we would have had more information that way we could have provided some sort of assistance.”

    Don’t let people know you have discretion. Next thing they’ll be expecting you to use it.

    1. “If we had known this would make us look like assholes, we would have tried to head that off at the pass.”

      1. That’s why cops always carry a drop gun.

    2. “I wish we would have had more information that way we could have provided some sort of assistance.”

      “Would have”s are cheap, but they make superb guilt repair patches.

  2. They’ve taught that young man a valuable lesson. I don’t think its the one they think it is though.

  3. That guy looks way older than 9.

    1. + lulz

    2. That’s not the picture he uses in the teen chatrooms.

    3. Ha ha! That’s the juvenile leo. See his black para-military uniform?

  4. Hey, sarc – my nuts say, “FUCK YOU!”

    Ugh….this is worse than awful. I don’t even know any more – insane in the membrane.

    1. Does Robby Soave share the sarcasmic gene? Or did he just write the piece in sarcastic fashion by coincidence?

    2. Just a little something I saw on the Daily Fail. You know, that foreign tabloid that has more stories about law enforcement misbehaving than anything in The Land Of The Free.

      Oh, and HAT TIP BITCHES! HA HA!

      1. “Land Of The Free.” Yeah. Uh huh. You’re just being sarcasmic.

  5. Bad 9-year-old boys, whatcha want
    Watcha want, whatcha gonna do?
    When police chief Scott Haug come for you?

    Bad 9-year-old boys, bad 9-year-old boys whatcha gonna do?
    Whatcha gonna do when they come for you? (x2)

    When you were eight and you had bad traits
    You go to school and learn the golden rule
    So why are you acting like a bloody fool?
    If you get hot, you must get cool

    Bad 9-year-olds boys, bad 9-year-old boys whatcha gonna do?
    Whatcha gonna do when they come for you? (x2)

  6. There’s a lot of blame to go around here, but these parents piss me off the most. Cops are assholes. Some stiffy store owner is an asshole for pressing charges against a 9 year old. The prosecutors are assholes.

    But the parents had no way of getting the kid to a court date, didn’t contact anyone, and did nothing? Honestly, fuck them. They are the worst to me here.

    1. If his parents cared they would have found a way to get him there or at least notify the court. From that alone you can probably guess why the kid has no respect for personal property.

    2. This is beyond bizarre.

      How. in. the. fuck is a 9 year-old supposed to know about and show up at a court hearing?

      9 year-olds (so I’ve been told) don’t even have the wherewithall to walk home alone from the neighborhood park.

      Of course the parents are the fuck ups here.

      Imagine the time lapse between the “crime” and being carted away to juvie. During that time, no adult in LE or Prosecution nor any adult in the kid’s life could take respnsibility for the “process”

      Chief of Police should be terminated tout suite.

  7. Juvenile detention, for a pack of gum?

    Scared straight libertarian.

    1. …the boy has been packed off to a juvenile detention center to await his next court date.

      So this thing isn’t settled, then. So why is the Police Chief commenting on this if it’s not settled? It’s my understanding that cops can’t comment on ongoing investigations. Or is that just when the subject of the investigation is a cop and they’re otherwise free to malign and impugn and cast aspersions?

      1. “So why is the Police Chief commenting on this if it’s not settled?” – Famous legally ignorant potatoes?

  8. I’m seriously afraid to cross the border out of Montana into Idaho anymore. Even more frightening is the prospect of a double border descent into Washington state.

    1. JG are you the guy from Miles City?

      1. Pine Hills?

        1. That’s like 5 of us.

          See Double You

          1. Only five? Even though Montana has an extremely low population density it certainly seems to have a lot of libertarian, or at least libertarian leaning, residents.

            1. Hell that’s close to the CA contingent.

              And per capita…fuhghetaboutit!

      2. I’m dwelling up in the northwest corner a few miles from Moyie Springs, Idaho and the Canadian border.

        1. So you’re not from the SE corner? I was talking to a youngster from down that way but couldn’t remember the name. If you’re not he, we are 6.

            1. The fact that New Hampshire was chosen for the Free State project was, in my opinion, unfortunate. I think the basic idea was a good one. It just would’ve made much more sense to do it in Montana where it could’ve actually worked.

          1. SE? Down there by Medicine Rocks? That’s great country.

  9. Actually, for that matter, I’m sincerely afraid to even cross county borders within Montana.

  10. When I was young kids who stole candy bars were told on to their parents who responded by tanning their child’s hind end. Thankfully, we’re much more civilized now and only arrest them so they can be incarcerated into juvenile prison.

    1. If his parents didn’t bother to notify the court, what makes you think they disciplined the kid at all for the theft? They don’t really sound like very responsible parents.

      1. Not sure what I posted that gave the impression I believed the parents had disciplined the little miscreant. The point I was intending to make was that, for me, it all made more sense when parents were expected to raise, and discipline, their own children. Incarceration was used as a last resort only when the groundings, increased chore loads and ass-tannings by the parents weren’t working.

      2. *or when the nature of the crime was much more serious; grand-theft-auto, robbery, etc..

      3. I agree. And that sucks for the kid.

        What really sucks is that he’s in detention. All he’s going to learn from that is a bunch of tips and tricks from other criminals.

        It breaks my heart when parents don’t care for their kids, but there isn’t anything I can do about it except raise mine right.

        1. This one strikes home. When I was a little kid I remember thinking I could just put a candy bar in my pocket from the store in my pocket. Why not? They had hundreds of them. Well, one of the clerks saw my and alerted my parents. It was about 53, maybe 55 years ago. Yeah, I still remember it. My parents made sure it a memorable mistake. It was the first time I couldn’t comfortably sit for awhile. Thankfully. My whole life very well would’ve turned out much different, much worse, had I been yanked from my parents so the “village” could do things their way.

          1. I never stole from a store. At least not until I was drunk and stupid. Didn’t do it as a young kid. I was taught early not to touch things that weren’t mine. A family friend and playmate apparently wasn’t taught that, or didn’t learn. He had sticky fingers at an early age. So much so that if he came over we’d do a sweep for valuables first. And after.

            Today he is in prison, as no doubt this kid will be before too long.

            1. We’ll most likely never know the whole story around the particular 9 year old sticky fingers in the story, but it always makes me hesitate upon hearing that kind of story. Once the state is involved what could have potentially been a simple life lesson thing is quickly pushed far beyond that with the unshakable records of arrest and incarceration that permanently follow a person all through life to their grave.

    2. Today we’re so civilized that we jail parents who tan their kid’s hid end.

      1. “Progressive” is secret code for regressive. They’re not progressing us into a more civilized world. They are regressing us into one that’s barbaric and uncivilized.

  11. I could just put a candy bar in my pocket from the store in my pocket.

    Damn you, Reason! I’m not that good! Let me edit.

  12. Stupid PUNK cops, go find soe REAL crime to deal with.

  13. Every crime, every one, carries a potential death penalty. Don’t pay your overdue library fine, and resist effectively enough, and you will be killed. This is the power we gave the State, when we asked them to protect us. Want fewer outrages, have fewer laws.

    In the present case, the Good O’ Days (How I miss the Diphtheria!) approach would have been to grab the kid by the scruff of the neck, give him a whack upside the head, and send him home. You go to jail for that, now.

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