Judge Orders Man Who Stole From Salvation Army to Spend a Night Homeless

A judge on Thursday ordered a Salvation Army worker who stole a holiday kettle containing about $250 to spend the night homeless.

Nathen Smith, 28, was to spend the night anywhere but a house, said Municipal Judge Michael Cicconetti. Smith was fitted with a GPS device to track his moves.

"My initial reaction was, 'Wow.' But I don't think the sentence is too harsh," said Smith, who expected to spend Thursday night in a homeless shelter. "I can see the judge's point because what I did, I shouldn't have done. Now I've got to pay the consequences."

The Salvation Army uses kettle donations to help pay for food, clothing and shelter for the homeless.

Smith, who also received a three-day jail sentence, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of theft.

Smith worked as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army outside a Kmart store in nearby Eastlake on Dec. 17. Police arrested him at his mother's house after a co-worker reported that one of eight kettles was missing.

Smith was scheduled to return to court Friday to determine how much community service he must do to avoid paying a fine and costs for the tracking system.

Painesville is about 30 miles northeast of Cleveland.