Man says he broke into cars because he was hungry and homeless

By Stephen Betts | Nov 13, 2017

Rockland — A 20-year-old man was arrested Friday morning, Nov. 10, after police said he admitted to breaking into cars and stealing change so that he could eat.

Jeremiah J. Parker was arrested and charged with two counts of burglary of a motor vehicle, two counts of theft, and one count of violating a condition of release.

He made his initial appearance in Knox County court Monday, Nov. 13, and pleaded guilty to the offenses and was sentenced to seven days in jail, Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald said.

Parker had been free on bail for a theft charge involving stealing liquor from Hannaford supermarket in Rockland.

The criminal complaint filed in the Knox County courts by the District Attorney's Office lists Parker's address as Brewer Street in Rockland. The affidavit filed in court by Rockland Police Officer William Smith states that Parker is a transient from Connecticut.

The affidavit stated that while Smith was on patrol Friday morning, he received a report that a car on Maple Street had been broken into and change stolen. On his way to the location, Smith noticed a man, who later turned out to be Parker, walking near Dunkin' Donuts with pants pockets that were unusually bulging.

A second call came in about a car break-in on Beech Street, but nothing of value was reported missing.

Smith returned to Dunkin Donuts and questioned Parker, who admitted he had broken into the vehicles, according to the affidavit. Parker told the officer that he had slept in a hallway at the Knox Center the previous night, but in the morning he was hungry and broke into vehicles. A third call came in while Smith was talking with Parker about a third vehicle broken into, this one also on Beech Street.

The Knox Center is in the vicinity of Beech and Maple streets.

The officer seized the change Parker had and took him to the Knox County Jail in Rockland. Parker wrote an apology for stealing from the cars, according to the affidavit. He told Smith he believes he broke into five or six vehicles.

Comments (4)
Posted by: Nina Reed | Nov 14, 2017 12:16

i guess to me, stealing is stealing. he stole from hannafords and it wasnt food. if he was hungry he could have gone to the soup kitchen, or even got a job, patricia williams





Posted by: Cathy Baker | Nov 14, 2017 09:58

I'm going to bat for the churches in this, Steve.  My fellow congregants and I send 40-60 lbs. of shelf goods to the Area Interfaith Food Pantry each week, and we are one of a dozen churches (and the synagogue) who do this.  I always send "meals-ready-to-eat" that have flip-tops, just for folks who live without kitchens.  When the teen shelter closed (after MBNA left), local churches tried to set up a shelter system within our walls -- and were forbidden to do so.  You try it, and see what your insurance agent has to say.  We formed AIO 25 yrs. ago because we couldn't serve the homeless and needy then -- and there are many more now.  St. Bernard's feeds 80 to 100 every day of the week, and sends them off with food to carry; other churches serve on the weekends.  We're not all Christians (esp. in my church) but we are all in this together.

Posted by: Harry Fitzgerald | Nov 14, 2017 09:09

Rockland has no homeless shelter. With cuts to services we will most likely see a lot more of this type of problem. Soup kitchens and food pantries are seeing more in need, but if you are homeless, you have no place to prepare food from a food pantry.  The one that bothered me the most was the case a few years back about a store manager who prosecuted a man who stole a sandwich and a milk because he was hungry. Guess the benefit to that was the man was arrested and given jail time, so at least he had a warm place to stay and something to eat for a few days.

Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Nov 14, 2017 07:57

Doesn't sound like a lot of passion for someone homeless and hungry. Taking his change and throwing the man in jail. How can we help him not harm.  Where are the churches and all their compassion. I am sure all the churches are locked at night.

If you wish to comment, please login.