The Charge: Shoplifting

Record: On Nov. 12, Eugene N. Fleet entered the CVS at 7 Dupont Circle and took four AAA batteries and one pack of eight AA batteries and “placed them on his person.” CVS pharmacy employees “flagged down” a marked patrol car, and Fleet was placed under arrest. According to statements made in the court, the batteries had a value of $15.84.

Convicted: 12/14/07


Lawyer: “Mr. Fleet obviously has a record of this sort of activity in the past,” says attorney Joel Davidson. “This is not his first petty-theft-type charge. On the other hand, your honor, he’s being supervised right now, and it looks like he’s starting to take steps toward reintegrating himself into the community.…I understand he’s already on probation. This represents a violation.…It was a fairly petty theft. He was homeless at the time. He was trying to find work. He doesn’t appear to be using drugs. So, he’s not out there stealing to get drug money.”

Defendant: “I’m embarrassed. This is crazy ’cause I had the money in my pocket to pay for that item,” says Fleet. “But this type of behavior plagued my life since I was 5 years old. That’s a serious habit I got to work on, um, not doing. I apologize to the courts. I’m currently active with mental health services. I’m seeing a counselor once a week.…Hopefully, I’ll never do this again.”


The Sentence: “Twenty days straight time,” Judge Zinora Mitchell-Rankin says immediately following Fleet’s statements.