Boy’s Shoplifting has Family Spending Christmas in Shelter

disterssed coupleIn Colorado, one mother is packing up her house instead of putting up a Christmas tree. Tanya Abbey and her three children may end up at a local shelter for Christmas, because “her 13-year-old son Oran got caught shoplifting a pair of shoes – an act that violated the family’s lease.”

Oran said, “My shoes were getting worn out … it was getting cold, my feet were getting cold … I thought it would just affect me. I had no idea it would affect my mom or my brother and sister, and I feel like if they should be kicking anybody out it should be me.”

The Garden Village Apartment manager stated that “any criminal activity on or near the premises is grounds for immediate eviction.”

If there is no room at the shelter, Abbey doesn’t know where she will take her kids.

According to CBS4, “there have been other issues at the apartment but the building manager cannot comment because of a confidentiality agreement. It is not clear whether or not she has actually been issued an eviction order.”

Despite the “other issues,” I hope this family isn’t evicted right before the holidays! No one should have to spend Christmas in a shelter. Can’t they work something out? If Oran is truly remorseful, have him clean some windows or mop floors in exchange for a few additional weeks!

I also wish this mother’s eviction didn’t automatically equal moving to a shelter. I don’t know her circumstances – I know I shouldn’t judge – but children who steal shoes because their shoes are worn and their feet are cold need warmer shoes and a parent to give them sound knowledge of right from wrong. Oran is old enough to know that stealing is wrong, even if his feet are cold.

I’m stuck between feeling sorry for this family and thinking that there is more to this story that would probably convince me otherwise. Regardless, I hope they are able to spend the holidays together – with happy hearts and a roof over their heads.

What do you think? Is the manager being heartless, or should the actions of this 13-year-old boy result in eviction?  Comment below! 

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Boy’s Shoplifting has Family Spending Christmas in Shelter

Kimberly Shannon is a wife, a mother, an editor, a writer ... She is always working to find the perfect balance¹! After Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she worked on two master’s degree programs (Creative Writing, and Marriage and Family Therapy). At various times in her life she has signed up to study Naturopathy, only to back out at the last minute, and humored the idea of returning full-time to the world of dance. Kimberly has also started 10 different children ... More

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97 comments

  1. Blia says:

    What a sad story 🙁

  2. Landon says:

    Well you do no punish innocent nkids for the wrong doing of another – FIRST AND FOREMOST!!! ARCHAIC LAWS such as these should be ruled unconstitutional immediately but getting back to the point in hand, if the apartment manager makes the mother and young children move out then an old fashioned group of 20 or 30 men should MOVE the apartment managers belongings out and change the locks on the door. After the manager pays for the mother pain and suffering something like 5 years free rent and she has a new apartment she is living in then the ex-manager can find himself/herself a place to live and rebuy himself/herself some furniture that had been donated to different charities. Then this person would learn what being a human being means.

  3. Ami says:

    When a building manager “can’t go into detail about something” it’s usually code for the fact that they weren’t doing their job or they were abusing their power because of personal prejudices.

  4. sheena says:

    i kinda feel sorry for the kid and the mother to maybe his feet was really cold and his mom couldnt afford a new pair of shoes cause of the holidays and maybe he didnt want to ask his mom cause he didnt want her to feel bad he is just a kid its just a pair of shoes its not like he robbed someone for money i mean common someone should of had a heart and just paid for the shoes instead of being a grumpy grunch i no this post is a year old but god lee hope there doing fine now

  5. Cara says:

    I recognize this post is more than a year old, but I’m appalled all the same. Kim Shannon is “stuck between feeling sorry for this family and thinking that there is more to this story that would probably convince me otherwise.”

    I’m appalled at Kim Shannon’s callous disbelief and obvious emotional disconnect. My own emotion right now is wavering between utter disgust and an odd sense of amusement that Shannon would say on one hand, the child really should have known better than to steal, yet her attitude is, gee, poor people (while apparently shaking her head).
    I get the feeling this woman lives a life where poor people simply don’t exist.
    They do, Ms. Shannon, and they’ll do anything to keep their feet warm. Get a clue.

  6. Alyssa says:

    eviction is far to harsh. They could send the troubled kid to a facility for help, or something. But to have the entire family evicted and possibly with no where to go especially on Christmas is wrong.

  7. Christy says:

    From what the article says, I can only assume that she doesn’t have the mney to get new shoes for the kids. Could be that the appartment was all they could afford, maybe she had been late with rent a time or two; who knows. What we do know is that the child was barely a teen and he had cold feet and too small of a pair of shoes. He thought that IF he was caught that it would ONLY affect himself. I know many oldest children that are the last to get new as the younger get the hand me downs. Personally I think it was rotten of them to kick the family out right before the Holidays when shelters and everything are all full and there is probably snow on the ground.

  8. tim says:

    I think they’ve probably had a lot of problems with this family. I seriously doubt the manager would just kick them out over this one incident especially before Christmas. Sorry if I sound heartless but she should have taught her children better

  9. Melody says:

    Yes, rules are rules, and all that. I am a big respecter of rules and following the law. But I also feel that if need be, rules can be changed. To get evicted over a pair of shoes is extreme. If that is the defining reason for eviction, then there is a problem in “the rules.”
    It’s interesting, but persons and families who live in government assisted low-income housing often have to pledge themselves to certain other regulations than are found in a typical lease agreement. If someone else is paying half your rent (or more) you shouldn’t be surprised if they require a certain standard of behavior from you. And if a tenant has issues with the requirements, they should be looking for another place to live.
    Ultimately, there is more going on here than a pair of shoes. Reading between the lines, there is a lot of standard-issue poverty problems at work. I’m sympathetic with the family, but skeptical that there hasn’t been other, more major things that aren’t being broadcast. And according to the other related articles, the family has a colorful background. I’m interested in how long that poor kid was going around with holes in his shoes. Did he really not tell his mother? Did she not care about it until it became an issue? Those are things we may never know–along with what “other things” the management has taken issue with the family.
    But yes, eviction over a pair of shoes is extreme.

  10. Rules are rules, even though it stinks, something needs to be done. Besides it’s just not that one incident, there is something else the building manager couldn’t talk about.

  11. Samantha says:

    I don’t believe the actions of the child should be cause for eviction. I would understand better if it were the mother who committed the act. Many fail to realize to can teach your child values and morals but it seems once they reach a certain age, particularly pre-teen to teenage years, it becomes about outside influences. Unfortunately, within this society instant gratification, quick money, and materialistic natures reign supreme. This goes to explain why theft, drug selling and buying is on the rise among children (even those younger than pre-teen years), and teen pregnancies are on the rise.

  12. Shaina says:

    I think rules are rules. If the manager decides to let this incident slide then he might as well let all other incidents slide too. That wouldn’t be setting an example rightfully. The manager has a business to protect. It is unfortunate that the family might have to stay in a shelter. But crime is crime and might I ask where is family and friends of the family? If they are not willing to help then maybe there is more to this family then meets the eye.

    • Landon says:

      B.S. The only way other people would know about it is because the Apt Manager wanted to make an ASS of himself by exploiting his anti people attitude. Making a point by saying hey I am GOD don’t look at me or speak to me without asking PLEASE SIR MAY I HAVE YOUR HIGHNESSES PERMISSION TO SPEAK” Apt MGR needs a little Tar and Feathers applied – get my drift!!!

  13. dana says:

    mine already know I will put them in jail myself. the child is 13 and knows right from wrong and he should have talked to him mom about it but he should not have stole no shoes and he should not but he should not be stealing anything

  14. makayla says:

    Kids make mistakes all the time. You can teach your children right from wrong and they can still chose to do what they know its wrong. Just because he stole a pair of shoes doesn’t mean that the parents are automatically bad parents. Not saying its right, but kids are gonna make bad choices and sometimes you are just gonna have to let them suffer the consequences of their actions before they understand. I was always a headstrong child and no matter what my mother said or did, I always did the opposite. I don’t think it is right to judge a family based off this one known incident. I don’t think they should be kicked out for it. Its their business and they should be able to decide how they want to handle it.

  15. Jamie says:

    I think unless we know the whole story its hard to make a comment, was there other issues with this family? It’s a tough one, but if you are going to be getting assistance from the state I know there are rules you must follow. But on the flip side I also know really great families who have children whom have stolen just for the thrill of it! As parents we really must teach our children right from wrong straight away.

    • Nicol says:

      There are lots of parents who are very good parents, however, no matter how much they taught their children right from wrong, as well as consequences, some children refuse o learn and do and act they way they shouldn’t. Which includes stealing, skipping school, etc. So like you said without knowing all of the facts we can not presume to judge.

  16. Teresa says:

    I think the landlord is being a jerk. Why would anyone put a family on the street with children especially before Christmas? I would not have signed the lease if I knew it would evict me and my family for what my child might do. I think they need to get a lawyer and see what are their rights in this situation. I could see if the child did community service at the property for stealing the shoes to let the family stay if that is the case.

    • Sarah says:

      The child is serving 40 hours of community service according to this article. http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/articles/eviction-not-due-to-theft-of-shoes/

      • Samantha says:

        I read the article and it’s a shame because not all that receive any sort of government housing or assistance behave in manners such as this. But I have been there when my child has not told me they are in need of a new pair of shoes but they did not go out an steal a pair. Children tend to behave or make decisions based on events and people around them. I do believe the mother’s choices, as well, as played a big part in his decision.

    • Nicol says:

      The child stole from a store not the apartment complex, so why should the landlord have any say in the matter. The lease said if there was any criminal mischief on or near the apartment complex would be grounds for eviction. So unless the apartment complex is in the same building as the store I don’t understand how he can apply that rule.

  17. Tasha says:

    I dont think that the family and their living situation should have anything to do with what the child did. I think the lease was referring to any criminal activity of the adults who signed the lease not the children. That is what is wrong with America today, the government has taken all the rights to discipline our children away but then issues like this arise where they want to hold the parents liable for the childrens mistakes, he is 13 years old, kids make mistakes. I think that this child will have learned his lesson from all of this but to make a family homeless because of it and at holiday time is a bit much to swallow.

    • Christie says:

      Samantha’s last sentence is dead on. It has gone from one extreme to the other as far as how we’re told we can discipline our children. Now the “experts” say that parents should bargain with their children or re-direct them. Because if you actually tell them that they have to do what you say you’re “bullying” them.

    • Samantha says:

      You are completely right, in my opinion. The discipline most of us received as children as turned us into productive, law-bidding citizens. Now that discipline has been darn near outlawed children within society have run amok and then the government wants to blame the parents. But the blame should be on the government for taking most of our disciplining rights away. The law went from one extreme to the other.

    • Sane says:

      LOVE your response.

  18. Sundrop_74 says:

    The family shouldn’t have to pay for the boys mistake

  19. Letty says:

    The child should face up to what he did, but not the whole family
    Specially before the holidays.

  20. Did anyone read the article someone posted in the comments??? The mom was caught stealing cars, did drugs n jail time. Also just married a murder a few months b4 getting kicked out. There’s a lot more going on.of course she doesn’t want to get kicked out, she’s paying less than $200 for rent. I’m sorry but parents know when their kids need stuff. Kids leave their shoes lying around. I randomly ask my dd if her shoes stil fit. N u know when u bought ur kid shoes last.

    • Sarah says:

      Wow. Back up. She admitted to having a checkered past. But that’s in the past, not while she’s been living at these apartments and she has been clean and in no trouble with the law for over 4 years. She served her time and I bet she had to work really hard to get her kids back after she got out of jail 4 years ago. She did recently marry a convicted murderer but I think that is a tricky thing to pass any judgement on without way more information.

    • Chantel says:

      where are you reading that? i read both the articles on those links and this one and i don’t see any of that.

    • Tasha says:

      I didnt read it until you mentioned it, and in this case I would then have to say that yes they should be kicked out, this mother obviously needs a reality check, and she also knows the ramifications of her actions. She sounds like a real winner in the mother department.. Sad for those kids really

      • Letty says:

        Reply,
        I didn’t read that part
        In that case they should get evicted and her kids should be taken away
        It sucks that its during the holidays though:(

  21. janet says:

    I think that if this is there first infraction then they should get a write up or warning and not to be just thrown out on the streets or have to go to a shelter and the holidays are right around the corner…and the 13 yr should be held for his actions but i think he should do volunteer work to repay what he stole and the shame an hurt he put on the family as well!!

  22. jessica says:

    the terms of the lease clearly state that any criminal act results in the eviction. sadly he followed the rules as much as I do not like them

  23. melisue says:

    Well it’s not rent free it’s income based but there are usually four or five other people living there that aren’t on the lease. I know where you’re coming from when my family was having a hard time we moved into section 8 housing apartments we only stayed there for three months because there were so many drugs. People would leave their kids on the playground so that they could go out and party. It was sad. I think that there should be drug testing for section 8 housing.

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