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Mike Leake pleads guilty to lesser charge as odd shoplifting case comes to confusing conclusion

Apr 29, 2011, 4:37 PM EDT

Leake mugshot

Mike Leake has pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of “unauthorized use of property” following his shoplifting arrest last week, agreeing to 30 hours of community service after being charged with stealing $60 worth of shirts from Macy’s.

In addition to the community service attached to what is now a misdemeanor offense, Leake will enter a diversion program, which would eventually allow his record to be wiped clean as a first-rime offender.

Leake had remained silent about the issue since his arrest, but today he told reporters his side of the story:

On April 2, I went into purchase six shirts and they did not fit–wrong size. I proceeded to go to Macy’s and exchange them on my own instead of talking to the clerk. I set the six shirts down and got the correct sizes myself, walked out and they stopped me. I realize how boneheaded of a move that was. It was very wrong and I sincerely apologize. It was a serious lapse in judgment. For that, I will be willing to do anything I have to do

Assuming for a moment that’s true and this whole thing is due to Leake actually paying for shirts and then screwing up his attempt to exchange them for different shirts. Doesn’t it seem odd that he’d be so quick to accept 30 hours of community service and a misdemeanor guilty plea that involves entering into a program? For what he describes as basically being a doofus who doesn’t know how to exchange something at a store?

After all, as Leake explains it that seems like much more misunderstanding than law-breaking and you’d think it never would have gotten this far in the first place. There seems to be a significant disconnect here between the series of events as described by Leake and the reaction of everyone else involved, from Macy’s and police to prosecutors and now Leake himself based on the guilty plea and acceptance of punishment.

From the moment this story broke last week nearly every detail confused me and that remains true following the plea agreement.

  1. Flounder - Apr 29, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    It’s been a long time since I worked at Macy’s, but my recollection is that company policy requires a pretty ironclad chain of evidence before Loss Prevention could even dream of taking someone into custody. Better to let a thousand shoplifters walk than to accidentally throw a loyal customer into a holding cell waiting for local police.

    I’m guessing Leake is leaving a few things out of his version of the story.

  2. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Apr 29, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    Lil Leake

  3. Mike Gianella - Apr 29, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    My sister worked at Macy’s while she was in high school and what Flounder is saying is quite correct. They actually would let customers shoplift from time to time if they didn’t have enough evidence to prove that the person stole something. The issue was less about punishing a loyal customer and more about liability/bad publicity. It is possible that Macy’s policies have changed or that the Macy’s Leake was at has different policies, but like Flounder I am somewhat skeptical.

  4. clydeserra - Apr 29, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    um, receipt?

  5. mofoe56 - Apr 29, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    sounds like BS to me….i live in Phoenix, and Leake was an Honor student @ ASU….he’s not stupid. Why didn’t he show them the shirts he brought back. Why did he tear the tags off before leaving the store…. another example of a kid with a sense of entitlement. Maybe looking for a thrill…..he had $250.00 in his pocket. ….give me a break…..

  6. jamie54 - Apr 29, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    Serious loss in judgement? Man, you MUST have been high because that is one lame excuse.

    • bouschkin - Apr 30, 2011 at 12:57 AM

      I’m high right now and Leake’s story makes no sense.

  7. yankeesfanlen - Apr 29, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    How many guys exchange anything in their lives? Or get the “wrong size”?

  8. Utley's Hair - Apr 29, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    From the version of the story he told, he is a complete and utter moron.

  9. superpriebe - Apr 29, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    I do not believe Leake’s story. Assuming Leake’s story were true, I imagine that management would read him the riot act or – at worse – have the cops razz him….but this makes no sense. No store would press charges in this scenario.

    I think he stole some stuff. Furthermore, considering his significant means, my guess is that he something of a kleptomaniac. Making a further leap, it would make more sense to me if he were sentenced to 30 hours of counseling. Otherwise, he’s just going to do it again. Maybe the Reds can put some pressure on him.

  10. tmoore44 - Apr 29, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    This guys is a tool. End of story.

  11. micker716 - Apr 30, 2011 at 12:08 AM

    You losers just don’t understand the rush of taking something that isn’t yours, the thrill of beating the system. I feel sorry for you.

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