This man had a BIZARRE reason for breaking into homes and stealing food

This man had a BIZARRE reason for breaking into homes and stealing food

A California man was seen in court for breaking into multiple houses and stealing…well…food. Although originally he was going to be facing felony charges, but after the court heard about a rare syndrome this man suffered from, they decided to reconsider…

A California man with a rare genetic disorder that gives him an insatiable appetite has pleaded no contest to breaking into houses to steal food and other belongings.

The San Luis Obispo County district attorney said in a statement Thursday that because of the condition, 20-year-old Tyler Jarvis was allowed to enter the pleas to five misdemeanors and get probation and treatment.

Jarvis, who has the intellectual capacity of an elementary school student, was initially charged with felonies that could have led to jail time.

Prosecutors say they looked closely at his case to reach a just outcome. They say people who have unmonitored Prader-Willi Syndrome will often badly overeat and go to great lengths seeking food.

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Jarvis has agreed to pay restitution to three victims, serve three years of probation and get residential treatment.

He is expected to enter a group home for people with his specific disorder by November 21.

‘I’m gonna do great there,’ he said after the hearing on Tuesday, according to the San Luis Obispo Tribune. ‘I already know.’

While his mother, Michelle Christian, had hoped to see her son escape probation time, she says she’s glad that he is getting the opportunity to live in a group home, instead of prison.

‘He’s going to be safe and, I think, happier there,’ she said. ‘It’s too much for one person to do on their own.’
Prader-Willi Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder which causes Jarvis to feel hungry all of the time.

It was discovered by researchers at a Swiss Hospital in 1956 and it’s estimated that 8,000 Americans have it.

The syndrome is defined by an insatiable hunger, but those who have it also have low muscle tone, short stature, low IQ and obsessive thinking with a low threshold for pain and body temperature abnormalities.

‘Their brain is constantly and consistently consumed with how to get food,’ said Lisa Graziano, executive director of the Prader-Willi California Foundation. ‘People will eat food out of trash cans. They will eat food off the floor. They will eat food that has been left out for days.’

If unregulated, those with the disease can die a slow death by obesity or eat so much so fast that their stomach ruptures.

Jarvis’ mother’s greatest fear is that he ends up in prison, where the administration won’t know how to control his eating.

For most of his life, Christian has had to strictly regulate what her son eats.

‘Around the preschool years, the hunger starts,’ she said. ‘And you start putting food up higher or figuring out tricks. And eventually it came to full lockdown.’

Today, she is forced to secure her refrigerator with two padlocks and she keeps all dry food stored in an outdoor pantry.

Her son’s cravings are so intense though that he has escaped the house several times, to break into neighbors home and steal food.

Their brain is constantly and consistently consumed with how to get food. People will eat food out of trash cans.

They will eat food off the floor. They will eat food that has been left out for days.

Lisa Graziano, executive director of the Prader-Willi California Foundation

Theft is also typical of the disease, and what led Jarvis to get into trouble last fall.

During a stint in a medical facility, Jarvis met a man who told him he should be homeless, if he didn’t like the way his mother was controlling his food.

So on November 18, 2014, he broke into a home to steal the things he would need for life out on the streets including a backpack, sleeping bag, video games, money and candy.

The homeowner caught Jarvis red-handed and chased him out of the house with a shovel.

What a horrible thing to deal with…unable to focus on anything else, very sad. I hope he does do well in the new home.

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