Siblings Hold Signs on Street Corner After Caught Stealing

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CANTON, Ohio -- A brother and sister are caught stealing, and even though they escaped legal trouble, they could not escape their mother's unique punishment.

Passing drivers honked their horns as they went by the intersection of Wertz Avenue, NW and Tuscarawas Street in Canton Wednesday afternoon. That's where Eddie, 11, and his sister Thalea, 12, were both holding black and white signs that read "I was a thief, now I'm not."

"I've had a few people say, you know, that they don't like the idea, but I don't care, they're not the ones that have to live with it, I, other than this guy right here, here's recording it, but yes, everybody seem to like it and thinks it's a great idea," said the children's mother, Michelle.

Michelle would not say what her children stole or who they stole it from, but she did say it was valued in the thousands of dollars.

"All I can say is they were facing some felonies...I kind of worked with them and had my kids working with them and they decided not to press charges, but I wasn't gonna let them get away with it," she said.

"I feel humiliated, ‘cause I'm probably the only kid that's ever done this," said Eddie.

"That it's embarrassing," said Thalea.

Eddie and Thalea both admit they don't like the public humiliation, but they agree it's better than spending time in juvenile detention.

Thalea told Fox 8 the experience made her feel "stupid" and said she had learned a lesson and would not steal again.

"I would walk away and say that I'm not doing it," said Eddie, when asked what he would tell friends if they might think of doing the same thing.

Michelle says she would rather embarrass her children than bail them out of jail.

"I wanted to nip it in the bud before they end up in jail, I don't want my kids raised where they're like in jail 24 hours a day or whatever...I don't want 'em in jail, I want them to learn their lesson now before it gets too bad," she said.

The children stayed on the street corner for three hours Tuesday and Wednesday, but their punishment is not over. Their mother is also making them clean up around the neighborhood and help out the victim.