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Shelby Harrington, Sutton, N.D., Published February 16 2013

Letter: Seems like it’s a crime to be kind

In response to The Forum’s Feb. 1 article titled “Driver in alleged theft spree: I’m just a good Samaritan”:

The article reported the story of an elderly gentleman who picked up a homeless man to give him a ride. The gentleman drove the homeless man to five different convenience stores. The article further states that at the fifth stop, both men were surrounded by police officers and taken into custody for theft from the previous stores they had visited.

For anyone who finds no fault with what the elderly gentleman did, I disagree. The year is now 2013, and we all must face the fact that our world is not a safe place. It is not logical, nor is it ethical, to pick up anyone you find in the street, let them into your vehicle and believe every word they say. As citizens, we must be conscious that we need to be cautious, especially in big cities where most crimes take place.

However, it should not be a crime to be a good Samaritan, and we should not be punished for trying to help others. Einar Swanson was trying to perform a positive deed, but he should have become suspicious when the man wanted to stop at more than one store.

When I hear that an 84-year-old man may be given jail time because he wanted to help out a homeless person, I genuinely feel sorry for him. It is unfortunate that our world must be this untrusting. However, because our world is the way it is, we must use our common sense to keep ourselves safe and to survive.