Teen jailed for stealing $20 from friend’s mom
February 2, 2012
An 18-year-old student was ordered Wednesday to serve five days in Douglas County Jail after he admitted stealing $20 from a friend’s mother who gave him a place to stay after he was kicked out of his house.
“I took money from a lady’s purse,” Nathan Centeno told East Fork Judge Tom Perkins. “I was friends with her son. The purse was on the counter.”
Prosecutor Laurie Trotter said Centeno intended to use the money to pay toward a $302 fine he owed for a minor consuming conviction he received in justice court.
Centeno also is on juvenile probation. He faced up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for the adult offense.
Trotter said she wanted Centeno to return to class where he is scheduled to graduate in June.
“He stole money to pay fines. He took advantage of someone who took him in when he needed a place to stay. He needs to understand the consequences of using dishonesty to try to get out of this trouble,” Trotter said.
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Perkins asked Centeno if he wanted to go back to school or “spend the next 20 years being around the court.”
He sentenced Centeno to 35 days in jail and suspended 30 days for one year as long as the defendant violates no laws.
Centeno refused a court-appointed attorney and pleaded guilty to theft. He was arrested Tuesday at Douglas High School.
The victim said Centeno came to her house on Monday and said he’d been kicked out of his own home. The next day as she was getting ready for work, she found her purse open on the counter and two crisp $10 bills were missing.
The money was found on Centeno and returned to the victim.