Michael Barner is a 9-year-old boy who suffers from a rare blood disorder. To help the young man out, over 250 friends & family members in his hometown of Vineland, New Jersey, got together to hold a benefit at a local restaurant. However, the celebration turned sour when it was discovered that someone stole one of the benefit’s top prizes.
You have to question what kind of a person would do such a thing as steal from a sick child like that. But a bigger question would be what kind of person would think an autographed photo of Willie Green would be considered such a big prize.
The COURIER POST ONLINE reports that the signed photo of 76ers guard Green was one of the centerpieces of the April 18 benefit. (Was Samuel Dalembert unavailable?) And with such a prized item temptingly close to their grasp, it took not one, not two, but three benefit bandits to grab the Green pic & go:
Leslie Giovanelli, 34, and Adam Scull, 29, were charged with theft and conspiracy to commit theft. Marlo Scull, 25, who is Adam Scull’s wife, was charged with tampering with evidence.
So, what could have possibly driven this terrible trio to flee with the photo?
The suspects, who know Michael’s family, apparently were unhappy about the rules of an auction in which the photo was a top prize, said Detective Lt. David Sherma.
Oh, and they were really drunk at the time, too. But, wait - there was no theft. It was all a kooky misunderstanding. Yeah, that’s it:
Giovanelli later tried to return the photo, which she claimed she had just discovered in her car, police said. The suspects also told Michael’s family that someone mistakenly put the photo in a prize basket won by Giovanelli, authorities said.
Come on, you really expect us to believe that? I’m surprised these three weren’t halfway to Mexico with their prized pilfered possession before the law caught up to them.
Still, the fact of the matter is they stole from a benefit set up to help a poor sick kid. And drastic actions call for drastic punishment - make the photo thieves watch nothing but Nets & Knicks games next season.