Turns out finders aren’t always keepers.
New Hampshire man Ruben Pavon simply thought that all of the merchandise on the porch of the ‘Finders Keepers’ thrift shop was free. But the Derry resident was accused of stealing when surveillance footage showed him taking a grill, the ABC-affiliate WMUR reports.
Pavon told WMUR he believed his actions were justified based on the store’s name:
“I thought it was there for the taking. The sign did say ‘Finders Keepers.’ So I took that DVD player, took it home. A couple of weeks later, the stuff is still there on the porch, so I’m thinking to myself, ‘Finders Keepers. They probably just put stuff out there for people to take.”
Finders Keepers owner, Laura Baker, told WMUR that all businesses charge for their products: “I don’t know of any stores where there’s free stuff. It would be nice if there were. I’d be there on a regular basis myself.”
The shop’s website says that a portion of its items “are donations, in which the proceeds of those items go to help purchasing ‘needs’ of local community organizations specifically to help children in need,” Yahoo! News reported.
Video surveillance shows a child helping him carry merchandise to his car. Pavon told TV network, “I just want to clear my name and say I’m not a bad dad. I’m the best dad in the world.”
He did return all the items he took from the store, and local police are continuing to investigate. WMUR reported that it hasn’t been determined whether criminal charges will be filed.