SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) — A man who told police he was hungry and homeless will spend time in jail for stealing a change jar at the Superior Senior Center.

The “Pennies for Water” coin jar was collecting money to help install a well in a Tanzanian village. Thirty-six-year-old James Stillwell was tackled by officers who saw him running through the Superior Public Library parking lot with the jar last month.

Stillwell told officers he found the container in a snow bank. Although Stillwell had a cell phone, he did not call police about the jar.

The Duluth News Tribune says Stillwell has been sentenced to six days in the Douglas County Jail.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (19)
  1. Nick says:

    Well at least he wont be hungry and homeless in the jail cell. Which is why he stole the change jar to begin with so looks like he got what he wanted! Lucky guy!!

  2. V for Vendetta says:

    Americans starving and homeless, but we have to help those poor kids in Tanzania.

  3. Anita Newhouse says:

    There’s the REAL issue: getting what a human being needs vs. what individuals may want. When all those who have been unhindered by going without basic needs can see that not everyone is motivated by wants, that yes, in this very time we live in, some go without basic needs, maybe things will change. THAT is the real change people are looking for, the change to believe in.

  4. birdguy747 says:

    Another reason why America needs to pull their head out of their butt. They are collecting money to send overseas when we have people in our own country, and even towns, who need help.

    1. Tony G says:

      I need a job! There are better options than stealing for my needs though. People have a right to give money for any cause they choose. If you want to collect change for a village–who are we to challenge that or look down our nose for it. If it is your money and you want to give it to kids starving in a village or any other cause–go for it. If you want to donate for programs here in America–go for it.
      God bless any one giving to the poor wherever they may be.

      1. sad says:

        I agree Tony, just because someone has a few dollars and wants to contribute to a ministry overseas that is their choice. Look at Oprah she tried to help people here and all they wanted was ipods. she saw a need for a school in another country where all they wanted was to learn to read. Guess where her $ went. We are spoiled in this country and I challenge anyone to find me a starving person This man may have been hungry, desperate even,, but it wasn’t for food.

  5. Mark from says:


  6. Bud Waffles says:

    And Mark–you’re probably a Brain Surgeon!

  7. lib says:

    A 36 year old able bodied man stealing a change jar? Not food folks, drugs.

  8. TW says:

    Do you think he may also have mental health issues? Why else would a homeless person be in Superior WI, there’s not much there for services. Sounds like he gets to have one week out of 52 with regular meals and no frost bite. When this country figures out that much of our homeless problem is related to mental health and addictions maybe we will decide to spend the dollars on those who need them by funding care and emancipation institutions and taking away some of their freedoms until they can manage themselves again. Wouldn’t that be better than having so many living off handouts and mission agencies?

  9. sad says:

    If they are truly mentally ill, they are already receiveing a disability check, but it is against the law to instiutionalize someone against their will. The ACLU went to court to keep these people on the streets where they are prey to drug dealers and that is who takes their money every month.

    1. public nurse says:

      Nice theory, however you must have a address to get a check, that is the problem with most homeless folks, no address no money!!!! Volunteer at a homeless shelter to see who these people really are.

      1. public nurse says:

        AND, most of the homeless are vets, isn’t that pathetic. Who said Charity starts at home??

      2. lib says:

        I run apartments in mpls and we have several disabled vets in the bldgs and they are on section 8. there is no reason for a disabled vet, whether physical or mental to be on the streets.

  10. JT says:

    Why is this guy stealing change claiming to be homeless and hungry yet carrying a cell phone?

    1. sad says:

      Good question JT somehow that bill gets paid, maybe by stealing jars of change the bum.

  11. Neil says:

    Money for Tanzania. Can’t Africa start taking care of itself? Millions of babies with no food, Women having kids, but they can’t even support themselves. Let’s face it, Africa is the most pathetic place on earth. Let’s help our own people and let these third world countries fend for themsellves.

  12. My thoughts.... says:

    Whatever reason, it is pretty bad that we have to collect money for a well in Tanzania….As if the money would ever get that far! At least this guy would have spent it here and supported a grocer or liquor store!

    1. ohoh says:

      why do you think you have a say in how other people spend their money? can I tell you how to spend yours?

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