Comic book store owner makes thieves dress as 'Flintstones' characters as punishment

'I would think that this would teach them a very valuable lesson,' Dave Downey says

Dylan Stableford
Yahoo News

Sometimes the punishment really does fit the crime.

A Sacramento comic book store owner is being hailed as something of a superhero for showing compassion — and coming up with a creative punishment — for a group of teenage thieves.

In December, the local teens stole the store's trademark "Flintstones" car that was parked outside of Dave Downey's World's Best Comics at Arden Arcade. Several weeks after the vehicle was spotted by local residents on the back of a pickup truck, it was found by Sacramento County sheriff’s investigators and returned to the store. But instead of pressing charges against the thieves, Downey had a better idea: Put them to work.

"The legal system, the messiness of it, that's not always necessary," Downey told CBS Sacramento. "And I think that this was one of those times when it was not necessary."

The teens agreed to work for Downey on Free Comic Book Day — the busiest day of the year for Downey's store — dressed as characters from "The Flintones": Fred, Wilma and Barney.

On Saturday, the culprits put in a 10-hour day holding signs on the street in their "Flintstones" outfits to promote the event.

"I would think that this would teach them a very valuable lesson," Downey said.

It taught Downey a lesson, too: The 200-pound Flintmobile is now equipped with extra locks.

“There will be no extra traveling for the Flintmobile,” Downey told Fox 40. “This is its permanent parking space, right here.”

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