Stealing Stale Bread

images.jpegThis story comes from Reuters.

A woman who worked at a super market in Germany took bread home that was supposed to be discarded. Is she guilty of a crime?

The 44-year-old cashier had been asked to dispose of the bread in a bio-waste container in March this year, but it was later found in her bag when she was searched by supermarket security personnel on leaving work later that day.

The woman, who was not named, argued that she had intended to put the bread in the bio-waste container, but her employer believed she meant to take it home and eat it.

The Leipzig labor court ruled on Monday that even if the employee did intend to eat the bread, it did not constitute grounds for dismissal, especially given her 27-year employment record with the company and the fact that the bread no longer had any monetary worth for the employer.

The answer is yes. She is guilty of a crime. She took something that did not belong to her. Whether or not it is worth $0.00 or $2,000.00 the fact remains that the property did not belong to her and she took it.

The law really is or rather, should be that simple.

Stealing is a very simple concept. I own a CD. I bought it at Wal-Mart. I have a receipt for it and the CD clearly belongs to me. You come along and take it from me. That is stealing. You don’t own it. It didn’t belong to you.

The bread was the sole property of her employer and she willfully took it.

For reasons unknown to me, German courts seem to think that they can just add a condition to the definition of theft. Well, it wasn’t really very expensive so it’s ok if the woman took it.

And that my friends, is why the world is going to hell in a hand basket.

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