Whether it's murder or assault or armed robbery there are people serving hard time in Michigan prisons. Then there's Robert Booker he's been on the lam for nearly 30 years after being charged with stealing from a payphone.

The Michigan Department of Corrections lists convicts who have escaped from custody. One such man is Robert Booker. He was sentenced in 1995 for breaking and entering into a payphone in Detroit's Wayne County. The charge is a felony under Michigan law and Booker was sentenced to between 2 to 4 years in prison. The statute states

Any person who breaks or enters into any coin operated telephone or a coin device attached to or an integral part thereof for the purpose of stealing or unlawfully removing therefrom any money, regardless of the value thereof, if in so doing such person breaks, tears, cuts or otherwise damages any part of the telephone or any coin device attached to or an integral part thereof, is guilty of a felony.

He escaped from the custody of the Detroit Metro Parole Office in January of 1996 and has not been seen since.

Booker is, as of publication, 64 years old.

With today's sensibilities, it may seem like a harsh sentence - 4 years in prison for taking some coins from a payphone. It's not unlike Cool Hand Luke's manual labor rap after cutting heads off parking meters.

But rules are rules and he's actively being sought by Michigan officials to pay his debt to society.

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