This is an open letter to the people of Cleveland who take more newspapers than they pay for from a newspaper rack, better known as thieves.
First of all, you are not stealing from the Cleveland Daily Banner. You are stealing from the newspaper carrier who supplies the rack you stole the newspapers from. He or she has to pay for the newspapers, even the ones you steal. That is money out of their pockets. You say it is only 50 cents, or a dollar on Sunday. Well, why don’t you just leave an extra 50 cents or a dollar?
The money in the rack pays for the newspapers the carrier gets daily. You steal the newspapers, the carrier has to pay for those out of their pockets. The carrier is responsible for the newspapers placed in the rack and they depend on honest people to pay for them. Most people are of the honest type. I am not fussing at you — just the thieves who take the newspapers they do not pay for.
Every newspaper stolen has to be paid for by the selling of three to four more newspapers to compensate for the stolen ones. The carriers are not making a fortune doing their routes and every newspaper not paid for is taking money from them. Most of the carriers are just trying to keep their heads above water. But the thieves are making it hard for them to work.
Just for your information: The last person I caught was fined $420 for stealing newspapers. Is it worth it? Don’t get caught. Someone might be watching the rack you are stealing newspapers from and the excuse “I didn’t realize I got more than one paper” will not work. While you are saying that, I don’t realize that I am calling the police, and you can explain it to the judge.
Next, why do people take the copy out of the door? It is the same as the ones in the rack unless it’s the only one left. You taking the door copy makes the rack look empty for the next person looking for a newspaper.
Why do people take the newspaper four to five papers from the top? It is the same as the top newspaper. All you are doing is messing up the newspapers for the next person wanting a paper.
Be a little considerate of the next person looking to purchase a newspaper. It doesn’t take much.
Then we come to the person that stands inside the store and reads the paper and thinks putting it back in the stack is all right. It isn’t. You open the donut box, you purchase it.
Cleveland is supposed to be in the Bible Belt. Sometimes I wonder. Be considerate of others, just a little. Pay for the newspapers you get. If you are going to read the newspaper in the store, do the right thing and pay for it.
This is just a note from a newspaper carrier.
— Omar Teague