Behind Bars

Weepy college frosh nabbed for high-tech price-switch scheme

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DECEMBER 2--Jonathan Baldino is no master criminal. The 19-year-old University of Colorado freshman just got arrested for a harebrained scheme in which he replaced the bar codes on expensive electronic items at Target with homemade bar codes carrying rock-bottom prices, according to the below Boulder Police Department arrest affidavit. Baldino's swapping spree ended Wednesday when he tried to buy a $149.99 iPod speaker system that carried a phony bar code with a $4.99 pricetag. Baldino was detained by store security and turned over to cops, who hit the electrical engineering student with a felony forgery rap and two misdemeanor theft counts (he allegedly bilked Target out of $370). In a marvelous police statement, Baldino, pictured at right in a Boulder County Sheriff's Office booking photo, wrote, 'I am a 19 year old boy who has never really been in trouble for anything in my life...I will NEVER EVER DO THIS EVER AGAIN & I am once more terribly sorry! I have never even stolen a candy bar from a 7-eleven before!!! Please let me go for I am terribly sorry!!! I'm only a kid! Help me out. I just want to go home. I did this not knowing of the serious penalty that lies behind it. Please! Please! Please! I am scared half to death.' In a follow-up statement, Baldino added, 'I am extremely sad now, & I just want to go to bed. Please let me sleep in my own bed tonight.' (4 pages)