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Police chief responds to fountain theft incident

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The woman ticketed for stealing coins from the water fountain in front of the Logan County Courthouse attempted to mislead police about having done so, according to a press release issued Tuesday by Bellefontaine Police Chief Brandon Standley.

Deirdre Romine, 38, of 1600 S. Detroit St., Apt. 21, was issued a summons for theft about 6 p.m. Oct. 7 after officers of the Bellefontaine Police Department determined she’d taken $2.87 in change from the fountain.

A series of sympathetic stories followed about the poor condition of Ms. Romine’s residence, her empty refrigerator and the fact she apparently faced eviction. The Associated Press took note and the news story found its way to news outlets across the country.

An online donation page to benefit Ms. Romine brought in about $14,000.

Tuesday, Bellefontaine police issued a press release with more details from Ms. Romine’s interaction with law enforcement.

Ms. Romine at first lied to police about taking coins. When asked to empty her pockets four pockets, she initially tried to only empty three, and when the last pocket revealed coins, she claimed they’d come with her from home.

“In this instance, it is clear that the actions of Ms. Romine were less than cooperative, causing the officer to conclude that a summons was necessary.”

CLICK HERE to read the full media release from Chief Brandon Standley.

Read the full story in Wednesday's Examiner.


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