BLOOMSBURG, Pa. – There were no merry men to protect a real-life Robin Hood who took $22,000 from a neighbor's home and handed out the loot to needy friends, relatives and neighbors.
The unidentified 14-year-old, of Bloomsburg, was found delinquent of theft in juvenile court, ordered to return to class and to attend a counseling program for troubled youths.
He will remain on court supervision for six to 12 months, officials said.
Columbia County President Judge Scott W. Naus also told the boy's mother, Wendy Lizardi, that she must see to it that he attend the counseling program and undergo an evaluation. The mother was also charged with spending some of the stolen cash.
A principal called police Jan. 30 to report a possible theft and told investigators he got conflicting stories from Lizardi and the boy.
Police learned the boy also bought groceries for his family, gave his mother $400 to go "buy something nice" for herself and paid off another neighbor's car insurance.
Initially, Lizardi said, she believed her son had earned some of the money by performing odd jobs. She told him to "take the money back" once she found out it had been stolen, her lawyer has said.
Police managed to recover most of the stolen money, as well as items the boy purchased for others with cash. Family members paid off the balance of the restitution at Wednesday's court hearing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.