'YouTube Bandits' Walk with $2K in Fines
A Pennsville couple arrested for stealing donation cans from Haddonfield businesses released with fines.
The bandits caught stealing a donation can on a YouTube video from Haddonfield walked out of municipal court this week after promising to pay just over $2,000 in fines.
Patrick Novak, 56, and Angeline Marie Johnson, 47, both of 1 Victory Ln., Lot 26, in Pennsville, pleaded guilty Monday to three counts each of theft by unlawful taking and two counts each of receiving stolen property from an art gallery in Collingswood. The hearing was held in Audubon Municipal court, which hears cases from Haddonfield as part of a merger.
The YouTube video with Novak swiping a donation can from Haddonfield’s Jamaican Me Crazy gift shop gained national attention. The video was posted by Furrever Friends, an animal rescue charity that owned the donation can. Novak smoothly swiped three donation cans from Kings Highway businesses on Saint Patrick’s Day afternoon while Johnson distracted shopkeepers.
They were caught on two videos that day, but the Jamaican Me Crazy tape made them famous, or infamous. They were arrested on March 25 in Haddonfield after an off-duty Collingswood police detective spotted them after seeing the video, police said.
Gary Reses, owner of Jamaican Me Crazy, was in court Monday. This time he never took his eyes off the pair, unlike the day they stole from him.
“The woman was pretty shaken up,” Reses said. “She really tried to plead her hard-luck case, but the judge didn’t let them off the hook.”
Reses said the couple seemed to have a hard time understanding court procedures. He said he “almost felt sorry for them.”
“They had a really hard time answering the judge’s questions and following what was going on,” he said.
The case was heard in municipal court because it was not possible to determine how much they stole from the donation cans. A police report estimated it was about $146.
In the end, Reses said he thought justice was done.
“They probably wouldn’t have gone to jail anyway because they didn’t have a record,” he said. “The security system worked. That’s what ultimately led to figuring out who did it because we didn’t see it at the time. Hopefully people know that we watch and will have second thoughts about doing anything in our store.”