Suburban mom says she went on a two-day crime spree because she was bored
There are so many reasons that people turn to crime. Some do it out of necessity, others out of malice, and many - unfortunately - do it because it's an easy way of getting by. One woman, however, turned against the law out of sheer boredom.
Melissa Bergman, a 30-year-old woman from Ohio, recently went on a two-day crime spree because she was bored.
The stay-at-home mother and former army veteran was living an apparent life of luxury in a $475,000 house in July last year, and had never before been in trouble with the law. However, after an ongoing struggle with depression and a brief stint in hospital following a suicide attempt, Bergman found something that gave her a new sense of excitement for life: stealing.
"I felt like my life was going nowhere," Bergman said in an interview with WLWT News. "I felt like I had nothing to look forward to in life."
Just days after she had been released from psychiatric care at the hospital, though, the 30-year-old experienced a strange thrill when she discovered a package that had been mistakenly delivered to her house. At first, she went to do the right thing, and hand-delivered the parcel to its rightful owner. However, upon turning up at the correct house, she saw that the recipient had several other deliveries waiting on the doorstep - and none of them had been claimed.
"I’m like, ‘Oh he doesn’t want these,’ so I took one, and I put it in my car," Bergman said.
"It’s not like I was selling it, not like I needed it," she explained. "Just the excitement of looking to see what was in that box and knowing, ya’ know what, ‘Since he didn’t want this item, this item can be donated to someone that actually really needs it,’ and that was the thought that went through my head."
But that was just the beginning.
Rather than just pinching one package and telling herself she was doing it for "someone who really needs it", Bergman went on to steal almost a dozen more parcels from people who had not had the chance to collect them from their doorsteps.
"That’s when the urge started getting worse and worse and worse, and I couldn’t control it," she said.
Eventually, she was caught for her crimes, and was last month ordered to serve 30 days in jail on 12 misdemeanour charges.
Since the brief crime spree, Bergman has sought help from a psychiatrist for her issues - and he seemed to believe that she had committed the crimes not just out of boredom, but out of a very real need for the sort of rush that had been missing from her life since she left the army.
"[The psychiatrist said], ‘Melissa, you were doing so much at one time and then it just stopped," Bergman explained. "So you doing this, gave you that excitement that you once had back in Afghanistan.’ You got excitement out of this just like you did in Afghanistan, but it was a different type of excitement."
Now, a year on, the veteran realises her mistake.
"There’s no words that I can ever say to describe how sorry I am for what I had done," she said. "It hurt tremendously, and I just want to go and give them a hug and say, ‘So sorry for hurting you.'"
Bergman is now coping with her mental health problems much better than before, and will hopefully not relapse into another stealing spree.