Taking Watermelon From Field = Time Behind Bars?

Stealing a $3 watermelon could mean jail time for a North Carolina county's board of commissioners candidate.

53-year-old Dana Soles was charged with felony larceny of ungathered crops after admitting he plucked the watermelon from a farmer's field. Soles is running for the Chowan County Board of Commissioners.

Soles said he was delivering groceries Aug. 21 to the family of an unemployed former colleague. He said he took the watermelon after hearing the field would soon be tilled, and later admitted the heist to a sheriff's deputy.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Johnson said he wasn't familiar with the case, but said the offense has been on the books since 1811. It carries a maximum sentence of 30 months in prison.


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  • by Red State Location: Washington Co. on Sep 19, 2008 at 11:16 AM
    Sue - Believe it! This is just a drop in the bucket of wasted taxpayer money in Chowan county.
  • by Tom Location: Edenton on Sep 18, 2008 at 02:41 AM
    Might as well spend 1m of the taxpayers money on a politically motivated trial. Why not? Edenton went 29m without knowledge to the taxpayers. Keep these darn Republican watermelon bandits in jail. Looks like the Chowan country sheriff will be looking for another job.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: The Patch on Sep 11, 2008 at 07:30 AM
    Three felons are in a jail cell talking about what they did to get there. The first says I stole a car and got caught, well, the second one says, I assaulted a cop at a ball game, well, chokes up the third, mine wasn't so.... bad, I stole a watermelon. What? A watermelon says the third. After the laughter goes on for two days the two crimals are found dead from laughing to death. Get it?
  • by brimstone and treacle Location: edenton, nc on Sep 10, 2008 at 02:35 PM
    To "they have stooped low now"... Actually, running for the Sheriff's brother's seat is Alex E Stallings over in Rockyhock. Guess he better watch his back until after the election. And he has a myspace page, http://www.myspace.com/stallingsforcommish. I never thought politics would get that nasty in rural NC. But I believe this is the nastiest I have ever witnessed.
  • by Sue Location: Greenville on Sep 10, 2008 at 01:56 PM
    I can't believe that tax payers' money would be wasted on this or even this much attention be given to something like this!!! There is not even enough space in jails to house the real crooks, much less someone who took a watermelon that was going to rot anyway!!!There are drug dealers, murderers, rapist and real robbers out there that don't even get this much attention!! I just can't believe it!
  • by Noneya Location: IBX on Sep 10, 2008 at 08:12 AM
    She was going to sell the watermelon, then give the money to Chowan County to help the budget problem.
  • by WOLFGANG Location: CHOCOWINITY on Sep 10, 2008 at 06:30 AM
    Have the Democrats blamed this on the Republician party yet?
  • by Red State Location: Washington Co. on Sep 10, 2008 at 06:15 AM
    How about restitution? Pay the farmer for the watermelon and maybe, if they want to throw the guy in jail, do an hour of hard time. LOL This is so ridiculous. I really feel sorry for Chowan county residents with the representation they have these days, and I'm from Washington county so my frame of reference is pretty bad.
  • by Howdy Location: Washington on Sep 10, 2008 at 03:43 AM
    Why should anyone give him a break? Because he is running for board of commissioners? I don't think so. While I agree 30 months may be a little harsh. He should not be given special treatment. If this had been any of your watermelon and anyone else who stole it, I bet you would be screaming for blood.
  • by Scott Location: Winterville on Sep 9, 2008 at 09:22 PM
    Stealing = Taking something that does not belong to you. It is what it is, there is no in between. The correct thing to have done if you wanted a watermelon that bad was to find the owner and simply ask rather than assume and then just take. Better yet, go to grocery store and buy $3.00 watermelon. That would solve everything. Think about this senerio, how about assume the car in that persons yard is no longer used so I just take it. Really no difference than taking (stealing) the watermelon.
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