Boy hands out cash

From Staff Reports

   MOUNT CARMEL - An 8-year-old student at Carters Valley Elementary School received a scolding from local police after he took $1,600 from his mother and handed it out to his classmates and students from other classes who were on a field trip.
   Terenia Cipro, 43, 702 Redwood Ave., told the Mount Carmel Police Department on May 20 that sometime between 12:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. someone had stolen more than $1,600 from her purse.
   Officer Dustin Jackson said in his report that the purse had been located in a bedroom where Cipro slept that night, and there appeared to be no forced entry into the home.
   When the officer followed up on the investigation, Cipro told him she discovered that her son had taken the money. Cipro told police someone at the school saw her son handing out $50 bills to students while they were on a field trip.
   Detective Will Mullins said it is not known exactly how much money was handed out before the boy was stopped, but it was estimated to be at least half. Many of the $50 bills were recovered from the boy's classmates, but at last report $500 had still not been recovered.
   MCPD Assistant Chief Mike Campbell said finding the remainder of the money is complicated by the fact that the boy couldn't remember everyone he'd gifted with a $50 bill.
   "There wasn't a big problem recovering the money from his classmates," Campbell said. "The problem was that he had also handed $50 bills out to kids from other classes - older kids - and there's really no way of knowing who all received money."
   Police are asking parents of Carters Valley Elementary students who attended the May 20 field trip to help recover the remainder of the money. Parents who noticed their child with money they shouldn't have had, or with any other information on the whereabouts of the money, are asked to call the MCPD at 357-9019.
   Campbell said police aren't interested in prosecuting anyone for this incident. They just want to help Cipro recover as much of her lost money as possible.
   Campbell added that he had a talk with the boy about the consequences of his actions.
   "I'm sure the boy was disciplined by his mother, and I had a talk with him also," Campbell said. "I asked him if he knew what he'd done was wrong, and he said he did. He didn't tell me why he did it, though.
   "I tried to explain to him the consequences of taking other people's property without permission and that if he continues to steal at some point the police will come get him and he'll be prosecuted. I think he got the message."