After being accused of shoplifting from a Derry, N.H., thrift store called Finders Keepers, Ruben Pavon is arguing that he was simply confused by the store's name.
WMUR.com reports that surveillance video shows Pavon taking a grill from the store's porch. Pavon told WMUR, "I grabbed the box. It was a fire pit, something like that. It turned into a grill, and I took it home."
It wasn't the first time Pavon helped himself to what he says he thought was free merchandise. He also told WMUR:
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.'"
WMUR also spoke with store owner Laura Barker, who remains dubious about Pavon's reasoning:
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 official site for Finders Keepers explains 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."
Pavon has returned all the items to the store. Local police are continuing to investigate. WMUR reports that there is still no word on whether criminal charges will be filed. Nor is there word on whether Barker intends to change the name of her store to Not for Free.
Video from WMUR below: