As a Texan, I love ribs. It’s pretty much a prerequisite for living here. But as much as I love a delicious rack of protein on a stick, I don’t know that I’m willing to do hard time for it.

Rib Theft Suspect Willie Ward - KXXV-TV

One guy apparently thought it was worth it. Forty-three-year-old Willie Smith Ward of Waco has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for robbing an H-E-B grocery story of a $35 rack of pork ribs in 2011. He apparently threatened to pull a knife on an employee who tried to stop him from walking out of the store with Fred Flintstone’s dinner.

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Yyyyyyyyyyyabba dabba don't!

Why the harsh sentence? Well, Ward was sentenced as a habitual criminal, having previously been convicted on felony charges including burglary, aggravated assault and drug possession. The theft of Texas’ most beloved meat product was just the last straw.

The good news is that he won’t have to steal any food where he’s going, though I doubt they serve good barbecue.

Not like the good ol' days...

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