Crime, Punishment and the Presidential Teleprompter


Believe it or not, there are many legal ways to steal things in today’s world. Baseball players steal bases. Georgetown Day steals my heart. Allergies steal my sanity. And tonight, I even stole a sneak peak at this week’s 4E writing budget. (We have some great content coming, if I can say so myself.) Just to reiterate, these are all legal forms of stealing.

Taking the President’s teleprompter and lectern, however, is not legal. It is a crime. A very big crime.

So learned Eric Brown, a Virginia native who was recently sentenced to seven years in prison for the theft of over $200,000 worth of presidential audio equipment in 2011. According to DCist, Brown’s heist included “Obama’s teleprompter, his lectern (with presidential seal), flags, lapel pins, a laptop, amplifiers, and microphones.”

It only gets worse. Brown later attempted to pawn the communications items in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. The attempted pawning, in conjunction with evidence from his SUV and cell phone records, are sending Brown to the big house.

The bottom line: Steal things in the legal way. Don’t steal things illegally. If you do, you’ll go to jail. And President Obama will get his teleprompter back.

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